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The half-brother of JonBenét Ramsey, the child beauty queen whose unsolved 1996 murder caused a media sensation and has puzzled the nation since, says that volunteers still work on the case on a daily basis.
John Andrew Ramsey will be speaking about the case on an upcoming episode of "20/20,” scheduled to air on ABC this Friday at 9 pm ET.
The 6-year-old child beauty pageant star was found strangled to death in her family's Boulder, Colorado home on Dec. 26, 1996. Before her body was found, a lengthy hand-written letter was discovered in the family home claiming that the girl had been kidnapped and demanding $118,000 in ransom. Her body was found in the house's basement eight hours later.
The murder quickly became a national story and the subject of frequent speculative theories. Her family was eyed in the case, fueling further public interest, and a grand jury even voted to indict the girl’s parents in 1999, CNN reported in 2013 after previously sealed court documents were made public. However, the district attorney decided not to go ahead with charges against John and Patsy Ramsey, citing a lack of evidence.
In 2008, Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy, who had run the county's sexual assault unit, cleared the family after examining DNA evidence. The DNA found both underneath JonBenét’s fingernails and in her underwear did not match anyone in the Ramsey family. Patsy Ramsey died of cancer in 2006.
“Our family has gone through a lot of adversity,” John Andrew Ramsey says in the upcoming interview. He added that in the midst of the media frenzy his family, who he called “just regular people,” had their worlds “turned upside down.”
He said that his family — his father, John Ramsey in particular — has suffered greatly as a result.
“Why I'm speaking out 24 years later, it's in part to relieve some burden from my father, who [has] fought tirelessly and advocated on the family's behalf,” he said. “I think he’s focused on life today and enjoying life with his family and grandkids.”
John Andrew Ramsey, who was in his early 20s when his half-sister died, remains dedicated to finding his little sister’s killer — and he is not alone in that mission. A group of volunteers works “daily” to assist in solving the case, he said.
“I think it's really important for people to understand that this case can be solved,” he insists. “There's a narrative out there that this is an unsolved homicide and that we just have to accept that as fact, and that is not the truth.”
Ramsey, whose murder case remains open, had won several pageant titles, including America's Royale Miss and Little Miss Colorado. Her half-brother recalled the joy that the little girl brought into his family.
“JonBenét was the kid that kept the conversation at the dinner table going," he told "20/20." "You know, she would go around and ask everybody how their day was and what they did, and [she] was just an energetic and fun kid.”
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