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'Killer on the loose,' slain child's mother tells CNN


Parents confirm they've provided hair, blood samples

January 2, 1997
Web posted at: 10:00 a.m. EST

In this story:

ATLANTA (CNN) -- The father of a slain 6-year-old beauty contest winner told CNN Wednesday that his daughter's mouth had been taped shut with duct tape when he found her dead. He said he has hired a team of investigators to help find her killer.

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Brian Cabell, John B. Ramsey, a prominent Boulder, Colorado, businessman, and his wife Patricia confirmed that they have given police handwriting, hair and blood samples.

Leslie Aaholm, Public Information Officer for the Boulder police department told CNN that "four or five detectives" left Boulder Wednesday evening for Atlanta. Police have said no one has been ruled out as a suspect.

JonBenet Ramsey

Ramsey told police he discovered the body of his daughter, JonBenet, in the basement of the family's sprawling home in Boulder, about eight hours after her mother found a ransom note.

The murder of the former Miss Little Colorado has puzzled police, and John Ramsey told CNN he will be offering a large reward next week, possibly $50,000, to help solve the case.

Ramsey, 53, said in the interview that he and his wife are cooperating fully with investigators. But Patricia Ramsey, 39, rebutted an earlier assertion from Boulder officials that there is "no need for concern" in the affluent area where they lived.

Interview Part 1
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Interview Part 2
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"There is a killer on the loose," she told CNN. (26 sec. /320K AIFF or WAV sound) icon


Describing her family as "God-fearing," Mrs. Ramsey denied any involvement in her daughter's death. "America has been hurt deeply" by the murder, she said, comparing it to the Susan Smith case in South Carolina and the Simpson-Goldman murders in Los Angeles. (30 sec. /384K AIFF or WAV sound) icon

Mr. Ramsey had nothing but praise for Boulder police, and said he wanted to hire additional experts because he said local officials have little experience with homicide investigations. JonBenet's murder was the first in Boulder in 1996.

Neat, three-page note

Mr. Ramsey gave this account of the kidnapping of their daughter: On the day after Christmas his wife discovered a neat, three-page handwritten note on the inside back stairs of their home. He said these are the steps Patricia Ramsey normally used in the morning.


Without disclosing the full details of the note, Ramsey said it indicated they should wait for a call from the kidnapper, who demanded $118,000. Ramsey said he was willing to comply with the demand.

Hours later, when the time for the call from the kidnapper came and went, police asked Ramsey to search the house again.

Ramsey said it was then that he and a family friend found his daughter's body in a room where they had stored Christmas presents. He said he carried the child's body upstairs.

Ramsey confirmed that all of his family members, including his wife and 9-year-old son, gave hair, writing, and blood samples to police. He said only he, his wife, his young son, and JonBenet were home the night before the note was found.


Ramseys retain defense attorneys

Ramsey also said he has hired Bryan Morgan, a well-known criminal defense attorney from Denver, and his wife has hired Boulder lawyer Patrick J. Burke, on advice from family members.

Mr. Ramsey has been temporarily removed from his post as president of Access Graphics, one of Boulder's largest companies and a subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.

The company made the move because it did not want to bother Ramsey with business decisions while he grieves, said spokesman Evan McCollum.

A funeral service for the slain child was held Tuesday in Atlanta, where she was baptized and where her parents met.

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