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Aunt says JonBenet knew her killer

Pamela Paugh
Paugh, JonBenet's aunt, says the child knew her killer or killers   
In this story: September 3, 1998
Web posted at: 11:54 p.m. EDT (0354 GMT)

ATLANTA (CNN) -- JonBenet Ramsey knew the person or persons who killed her, the 6-year-old beauty queen's aunt told CNN's Burden of Proof.

"She knew them well enough to go with them," Pamela Paugh said, in an interview to air Friday.

The killing remains a mystery nearly two years after the former Little Miss Colorado's body was found in the basement of her family's Boulder, Colorado, home, hours after her parents said she had been put to bed in her second-floor room.

She had been beaten and strangled.

JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, have said they heard nothing unusual that night, which was the day after Christmas in 1996.

Both Patsy Ramsey and Paugh, her unmarried younger sister, are former Miss West Virginia beauty queens.

Parents under suspicion

JonBenet Ramsey
JonBenet Ramsey   

The murder case has been hampered by tainted crime scene evidence, infighting between police and district attorney's office and the Ramseys' initial reluctance to be formally questioned by police detectives.

No arrests have been made, although District Attorney Alex Hunter and Police Chief Mark Beckner have said the Ramseys are "under the umbrella of suspicion."

The case is expected to be turned over to a grand jury this month.

'A fairy book life'

Paugh, who lives in Atlanta and says she was home when the killing happened, said she believes whoever did it was motivated by jealousy and greed.

"There comes a point in your life when people are so close to you that, I believe in some strange, odd way, they consider they are part of your family," Paugh said.

"But when they look at themselves in the mirror and they realize that they want to be, but are not, then who knows what goes on in the minds of these people."

JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy Ramsey   

The Ramseys sold their home in Boulder and moved back to their former home of Atlanta after John Ramsey left his job as chief executive officer of a computer company.

Paugh said her sister led "a fairy book life" as a former beauty queen.

"Everything she touches has been successful," Paugh said. "Everything [John Ramsey] touches turns to gold. To some people, with a rare form of mental dysfunction, I believe that could so motivate them to be envious and jealous enough to want to destroy them."

'Evidence will show' frame-up

The killer or killers tried to "frame" the Ramseys, Paugh said. "The evidence will show that, because mistakes were made. And I say that not from my heart, but from knowing of evidence that exists which will prove that."

She said she would not elaborate "for obvious reasons."

The murder has affected her deeply, she said. "There were months when I could not get in a bed. There were months when I could not go down a flight of stairs."

When they learned that JonBenet had been killed, Paugh and other members of the family flew from Atlanta to Boulder.

When they arrived, Patsy "was heavily medicated," Paugh said. "I believe she knew we were there. I held her. I held John. I assured him that we were with him, that I loved him, and all Patsy kept saying to me was, `Who could have killed my baby?'"

Paugh says mother has suspect in mind

Since then, Paugh said that she and Patsy have had "intimate, sister-to-sister conversations," which led her to believe Patsy has a suspect in mind.

"I would think that, when you are the mother of a 6 1/2-year- old and you watch her every move, as you do your son's, with the exception of when she is in bed asleep, that you would have a fairly good inkling of who had committed this horrible, heinous act," Paugh said.

"That child was never abused by any member of this family," Paugh said. "She was loved, she was given opportunities that people at the age of 90 sometimes don't experience. This all leads back to my theory of envy and jealousy."

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