JonBenet Ramsey’s Half-Brother Recalls the Moment He Found Out About Her Death

JonBenet Ramsey’s Half-Brother Recalls the ‘Awful’ Moment He Found Out About Her Death
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Jan. 13 2020, Published 4:21 p.m. ET

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JonBenét Ramsey’s half-brother, John Andrew Ramsey, remembers the exact moment he found out about her death in December 1996.

“It was the day after Christmas, and I had spent Christmas with my sister Melinda and mother in Atlanta. And the day after Christmas, we were flying to meet my dad and Patsy and family,” John Andrew, 43, recalls in the “Killing of JonBenét: The Final Suspects” podcast. “The plan was to meet in Minneapolis. So we were flying to Minneapolis, got off the airplane and — I can’t remember if someone handed me a note, you know, a flight attendant or somebody, but they pulled me aside and said, ‘You need to call home,’ essentially. I got a pay phone and called my dad, and he told me that JonBenét had been kidnapped.”

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JonBenet Ramsey’s Dad Still ‘Believes Her Killer Will Be Found,’ Investigator Says in ‘Final Suspects’ Podcast

John Andrew then “made the split-second decision” to fly to his father’s home in Boulder, Colorado. Upon John Andrew and Melinda’s arrival, they received devastating news about JonBenét: their dad, John Ramsey, had discovered the 6-year-old dead in the basement.

“We arrived right as or just after they had found the body,” John Andrew says in episode 3 of the podcast. “They were walking out of the house. So it was quite a scene. … My dad said something to the effect that JonBenét is in heaven or has been killed.”

JonBenet Ramsey

John’s wife, Patsy Ramsey, was “on the floor, just devastated,” John Andrew recounts. “JonBenét’s brother Burke had this look of innocence on him walking in there, kind of a big, awkward smile. Kind of like, ‘Oh, I know this is not good. All these people around me are crying. Our mother’s on the floor.’ But he’s just a 9-year-old. Just awful.”

‘The Killing of JonBenet’ Looks Into 10 Suspects Who Were Never Pursued — With John Ramsey’s Help

The episode, “A Father’s Anguish,” also includes an exclusive interview with John, 76, that includes little-known information about his family life and the devastating morning he found JonBenét. He and John Andrew also lay out their plan to find the late child beauty queen’s killer after all these years.

If you have information that could help investigators and the Ramseys identify JonBenét’s killer, please email


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