- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 25, 2006

ATLANTA — Patsy Ramsey, whose 6-year-old daughter JonBenet’s 1996 slaying has never been solved, died yesterday of cancer, her lawyer said. She was 49.

Mrs. Ramsey was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1993 and suffered a recurrence several years ago, said her lawyer, L. Lin Wood. She died at her father’s home in suburban Atlanta with her husband, John, at her bedside.

“It is not unexpected, but it is a sad day,” Mr. Wood said yesterday.

Mrs. Ramsey will be buried next to JonBenet in a suburban Atlanta cemetery, said Terry Pendley, owner of Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home in Marietta, Ga.

JonBenet, who competed in beauty pageants, was found beaten and strangled in her parents’ Boulder, Colo., basement on Dec. 26, 1996. A grand jury investigation ended with no indictments, and no arrests have been made.

Her death became fodder for tabloids and the subject of books.

The Ramseys said an intruder killed their daughter, but a cloud of suspicion hung over the couple. The district attorney and a federal judge in Colorado have said it is likelier that an intruder was responsible.

“Hopefully, her legacy will not be tied to the false accusation related to the brutal murder of her daughter,” Mr. Wood said.

Mrs. Ramsey said she found a ransom note on the back staircase of the family’s home demanding $118,000 for the safe return of JonBenet. Mr. Ramsey said he found his daughter’s body in a basement room eight hours later.

An autopsy concluded JonBenet suffered a skull fracture and was strangled and beaten. She was buried in Marietta, Ga., next to the grave of her half sister, Elizabeth Ramsey, 22, who died in a car crash in Ohio in 1992.

The Ramseys left Colorado after JonBenet’s death and wrote a book, “The Death of Innocence,” published in 2000.

They had residences in Atlanta and in Michigan, where Mr. Ramsey made an unsuccessful bid for the Michigan House in 2004. He finished second among six candidates vying for the Republican nomination. The Ramseys discussed their daughter’s death during the campaign.

“We can’t just hold our breath and hope the killer will be found and then go on with our lives,” Mrs. Ramsey said in 2004. “We have to move ahead now. We can’t let evil win.”

Mrs. Ramsey is survived by her husband and their 19-year-old son, Burke.

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