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TODAY   |  January 28, 2013

Grand jury voted to indict JonBenet’s parents

In 1999, the district attorney in Boulder Colorado made the decision that there was not enough evidence to file charges against anyone in the death of JonBenet Ramsey, but members of the grand jury in the case are now revealing they voted to indict Ramsey’s parents. NBC’s Erica Hill reports.

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>>> new information is coming to light in the jonbenet ramsey case, more than six years after her death. in 1999 , the district attorney announced there wasn't sufficient evidence to file charges against anyone. evidently a grand jury had a different opinion. erica hill is here with the story.

>> good morning to you, matt. a grand jury voted to indict john and patsy ramsey , jonbenet 's parents. nbc news spoke to them that they remain anonymous.

>> a little girl 's body was found in the basement.

>> reporter: john and patsy ramsey pleaded to find their daughter's killer. they even offered a reward. yet from the beginning investigators focused on jonbenet 's parents.

>> they do remain under an umbrella of suspicion.

>> reporter: the 6-year-old beauty queen 's parents were never charged in connection with their daughter's death and strongly deny any suggestion they were somehow involved.

>> i did not kill my daughter, jonbenet .

>> i did not have anything to do with it.

>> reporter: in september 1998 , the case was brought to a boulder grand jury . more than a year later on the day they concluded, alex hunter, then boulder d.a., addressed the public.

>> i and my prosecution task force believe we do not have sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of charges.

>> reporter: now more than 13 years later, we're learning the grand jury didn't agree. according to the boulder daily camera , which spoke with members of the grand jury on condition of anonymity, they voted to indict both ramseys on charges of child abuse that resulted in the death of jonbenet .

>> we don't see this scenario, grand juries wanted to indict and prosecutors saying no.

>> reporter: confirms the grand jury voted to indict the ramseys. he believes hunter's decision not to prosecute was courageous.

>> there just simply was a lack of evidence.

>> reporter: one juror, who spoke with the daily camera told the paper, quote, we didn't know who did what, but we felt the adults in the house may have done something, or they certainly could have prevented or helped her and they didn't. in a 2001 interview, hunter told nbc he had no regrets about his decisions in the case.

>> i have enough people that i respect that have said to me, you know, you made a tough call. you made a call that the public didn't like, but you were true to the law. you were a good prosecutor. and that's plenty for me.

>> in a statement, john ramsey 's attorney told nbc the dna tests performed after the time of the boulder grand jury not only prove the ramseys to be innocent and the grand jury wrong they also make d.a. alex hunter a hero who wisely avoided a miscarriage of justice.

>> this is going to open up a whole new round of conversations.

>> yes.

>> about this 16-year-old case. erica, thank you very much.