Patsy Ramsey’s sister: It’s ‘wait-and-see’ over case against Karr

Published 11:24 pm Saturday, August 19, 2006

With questions swirling about John Mark Karr’s role in the death of JonBenet Ramsey, the slain 6-year-old’s aunt said Friday her family is cautious, yet hopeful, about the arrest.

“We are optimistic, but it’s wait-and-see,” said mother Patsy Ramsey’s sister, Pamela Paugh, outside her family’s Roswell, Ga. home. “We’ve been patient for nine and a half years; what’s a few more months?”

Karr remained jailed in Thailand on Friday, a days after his public proclamation there that he was with the beauty pageant princess when she was killed in Boulder, Colo., in 1996.

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Karr said Thursday that he wasn’t innocent in the case, but questions have been raised about some of his claims.

Paugh, who has acted as her family’s spokeswoman since the arrest, said the family has its own concerns about Karr’s statements, but remains confident in the work of Boulder County District Attorney Mary Lacy and other investigators.

“She would never do something (haphazardly) when she knows the world’s eyes are on her,” Paugh said about Lacy. “She’s not going to just go out there willy-nilly and pick up some nut case.”

Paugh said she’s spoken with JonBenet’s father, John Ramsey, but did not know where he currently is. She said he’s upbeat about the arrest, but not yet ready to speak publicly.

“It’s a very touchy thing right now,” Paugh said. “All this is bringing up some very hurtful and terrible memories, even though it’s a good thing; he just needs some alone time.”

Meanwhile, police in the town just north of Atlanta, where Patsy Ramsey spent the final months of her life, declined to comment Friday on whether they had set up a ruse to trap e-mails or letters that Karr tried to send Ramsey.

The family’s attorney, Lin Wood, in Atlanta said Ramsey never received the correspondence because police or someone else set up an address. “He thought that he was corresponding with Patsy, but he wasn’t,” Wood said.

Karr’s father Wex and his brother Nate had yet to return to their Sandy Springs, Ga., home Friday afternoon, where a dozen or so media members were waiting outside on their lawn. They left the home within hours after Karr’s arrest Wednesday and hadn’t returned.

In nearby Marietta, tributes at the gravesite of JonBenet and Patsy Ramsey continued Friday, with new teddy bears, toys, flowers and religious pamphlets placed on JonBenet’s tombstone. On Patsy’s grave, a patch of earth that still has no headstone about two months after she died of ovarian cancer, someone placed a bouquet of red and pink roses.

A steady stream of visitors, many of whom never left their vehicles, drove through the cemetery during the day.

Bob Estep of Delray, W.Va., said he became fascinated with JonBenet’s story shortly after her murder and has visited her grave two or three times a year since 1998.

Estep, who has met several members of the Ramsey family at the cemetery, said he was shocked by the arrest — but now has doubts about Karr’s story.

“I had some hopes then, but listening to the news, this guy has a lot of contradictions,” he said. “But it might work out. You can hope.”

Paugh said the family is taking comfort in that fact that, after a decade, there is any kind of movement in the case.

“As crazy as all of this has been, my sole stance has been that at least something has happened,” she said. “It’s moved forward. If it goes on the yes path or the no path, we’ll be satisfied with that.”