By Keith Coffman
DENVER (Reuters) - The brother of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, whose 1996 murder remains unsolved, said on Monday he had nothing to do with her death, speculating that the killer was a pedophile who stalked her at pageants.
In the final installment of a three-part interview on the “Dr. Phil” show, Burke Ramsey, who was 9 when his 6-year-old sister was slain, said it “blows my mind” that some still suspect a family member in her death.
Now 29, Ramsey, who works in the computer industry, denied harming his sister when asked by host Phil McGraw, who then asked him who he thought killed the girl.
“Probably some pedophile in the pageant audience,” Ramsey responded, without offering specific evidence.
The body of JonBenet Ramsey was found bludgeoned and strangled in the basement of her parents’ Boulder, Colorado, home on Dec. 26, 1996.
The murder of the blond, blue-eyed youngster made worldwide headlines when videos surfaced of her performing in child beauty pageants dancing and singing in full makeup and dressed in various costumes.
Early in the case, police described the girl’s parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, as being under “an umbrella of suspicion” because of the odd circumstances surrounding the murder.
Both parents denied that anyone in the family killed their daughter. Patsy Ramsey, a former Miss West Virginia, died of ovarian cancer in 2006, and John Ramsey moved away from Colorado and has since remarried.
Amid a flurry of documentaries and news stories on the upcoming 20-year anniversary of the killing, Boulder Police Chief Greg Testa said his department would not comment on the renewed media interest in the case.
In 1999, a grand jury voted to indict the parents, but then-District Attorney Alex Hunter declined to prosecute them, citing a lack of evidence.
Despite McGraw's assertion during the broadcast that Burke Ramsey was the "missing link" in the case who had "never answered questions" about what happened in the house that morning, the boy was questioned at length by investigators following his sister's murder and again in later years.
Burke Ramsey said he also testified before the grand jury.
In 2008, authorities disclosed that male DNA found in the girl’s underwear did not match that of anyone in the Ramsey family. No match has been found in DNA databases, so the donor is still unidentified.
Burke Ramsey said he continued “to keep the hope alive” the killer will be found.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman in Denver; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Peter Cooney)