- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 17, 2006

2:07 p.m.

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — The district attorney in the JonBenet Ramsey slaying case said today there is “much more work” to be done in the case against the suspect, and she warned the public not to “jump to conclusions.”

Mary Lacy, who has spearheaded the investigation for Boulder County, did not immediately disclose any details about the case involving former schoolteacher John Mark Karr, 41, who was arrested yesterday at an apartment in Bangkok. In an interview with Associated Press, Mr. Karr said he killed the girl by accident.

However, Miss Lacy suggested that the arrest may have been forced by other circumstances, including the need for public safety and fear the suspect might flee.

“There are circumstances that exist in any case that mandate an arrest before an investigation is complete,” Miss Lacy said.

She refused to say whether authorities were worried that Mr. Karr was lying about killing the little girl. Miss Lacy said Mr. Karr has not been charged formally and declined to speculate about what counts he might face.

“I’m asking you this morning, let us do our job thoroughly and carefully. The analysis of the evidence in this case continues on a day-by-day, on an hour-by-hour basis as we speak,” she said, adding that “there is much more work to be done now that the suspect is in custody.”

“We should all heed the poignant advice of John Ramsey yesterday,” she said, referring to JonBenet’s father. “He said do not jump to conclusions, do not rush to judgment, do not speculate, let the justice system take its course.”

Miss Lacy said Colorado investigators were in Thailand but refused to provide a timeline of when Mr. Karr might be returned to America. She said he just started work as a second-grade teacher in a Bangkok international school on Tuesday and had traveled extensively since leaving the United States several years ago.

Mr. Karr said he was with JonBenet when she died.

“I am so very sorry for what happened to JonBenet,” he said in Bangkok. “Her death was an accident.” Asked if he was innocent, Mr. Karr said, “No.”

A senior Thai police officer said Mr. Karr also told investigators that he had drugged the 6-year-old beauty queen and had sex with before accidentally killing her.

An autopsy was done a day after her body was found on Dec. 26, 1996, and a blood screening showed no drugs or alcohol in her body but that she had vaginal abrasions.

Mr. Karr was given a mouth-swab DNA test in Bangkok, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

Mr. Karr will be given another DNA test when he returns to the United States, the official said.

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