Lou Smit, the Colorado Springs police detective and private investigator perhaps best known for his efforts to solve the JonBenet Ramsey case, has died of cancer. Smit learned he had colon cancer in April, and the 75-year-old died peacefully with his family around him on Wednesday. John Ramsey, the father of the six-year-old girl slain in Boulder on December 26, 1996, prayed with Smit at a hospice in the Springs recently, writes The Denver Post. The prayer was reminiscent of one Smit shared with John and his late wife, Patsy Ramsey, years earlier when it once appeared Patsy would be charged with murdering her daughter. Though JonBenet’s killer remains elusive, Smit put more than 200 killers behind bars during his long, storied career, and he cleared a few names, like Patsy Ramsey, in the process. His death won’t end speculation on the JonBenet case, as Westword points out, and the quest for the phantom intruder Smit theorized continues to this day.

Meanwhile, Boulder’s Daily Camera asks the Colorado Bureau of Investigations why its new cold-case database of 1,714 unsolved homicides and missing-persons cases spanning 40 years doesn’t include JonBenet. CBI director Ronald C. Sloan attributes the missing case to a technological glitch. Photo credit: CBS News