“The first thing I remember is my mom bursting in my room really frantic, saying, like, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh,’ running around my room, looking for JonBenét,” Burke, who was 9 years old at the time of his younger sister’s murder, said on The Dr. Phil Show Monday, September 12. “I remember her saying, ‘Where’s my baby? Where’s my baby?’ … The next thing I remember is a police officer coming to my room and shining a flashlight.”
JonBenét was reported missing December 26, 1996, after her parents, John and Patsy Ramsey, found a ransom note in their home. Her body was found in the basement of the family’s house in Boulder, Colorado, later that day. Autopsy results revealed the 6-year-old beauty queen was struck on the head and strangled.
Burke, now 29, sat down for his first-ever media interview with Dr. Phil nearly two decades after JonBenét’s death. The mysterious case, which has yet to be solved, recently returned to the spotlight, thanks to new documentaries and interviews, including CBS’ two-part docuseries The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey (which airs Sunday, September 18, and Monday, September 19).
In the interview, Burke explained that he was “trying to be positive” after detectives confirmed his sister’s disappearance.
“I told the guy, I was like, ‘Uh, she’s probably hiding somewhere. Did you check the whole house? … Maybe she’s outside,” he recounted. Later that day, John confirmed his daughter’s death to his son.
“My dad just said, ‘She’s in heaven now,'” Burke explained. “I started crying. I don’t think I said anything. I didn’t believe it at first.”
JonBenét’s parents were initially under suspicion after their daughter was found dead, but Boulder authorities later exonerated the family and issued an apology. Patsy died of cancer in 2006.
The remaining two episodes of Dr. Phil’s interview with Burke air in nationwide syndication on Tuesday, September 13, and Monday, September 19.
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