Happiness at last for father of tragic beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey as he remarries to a Las Vegas fashion designer
Last updated at 5:32 PM on 27th July 2011
More than 15 years ago, the body of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found in the basement of her family's Boulder, Colorado home.
Now, it seems the father of the girl dubbed Little Miss Sunshine has finally found happiness after the heartbreaking loss of his daughter and his late wife, Patsy.
John Ramsey, 67, married fashion designer Jan Rousseaux, 53, at a private ceremony in Charlevoix, Michigan on July 21.
2000 The wedding came five years after the death of his beloved wife Patsy from ovarian cancer in 2006, aged 49. Mr Ramsey also lost his 22-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, in a 1992 car accident.
In an interview with the National Enquirer, Mr Ramsey spoke about his fresh start.
He admitted he had a brief affair with Beth Twitty -the mother of Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teen who vanished in Aruba in 2005. The relationship, he said, ended four years ago.
He then met Ms Rousseaux, a fashion designer who costumes stars for the stage in Las Vegas and Branson, Missouri, at a Denver wedding in 2009 -and they struck up a friendship.
Ms Rousseaux, who is divorced with two adult children, said it wasn't until the following June that she texted Mr Ramsey that she was thinking of him, and a relationship blossomed.
'Immediately he asked if he could come to see me, just as friends,' she said.
Soon, the couple began dating long distance.
'John made the seven-hour journey from Moab (Utah) to Vegas to see me every weekend after that. He never complained. It certainly got my attention, and that's how the relationship blossomed,' Ms Rousseaux said.
Last Valentine's Day, he proposed at a resort in Vero Beach, Florida.
'It was over breakfast. I told her I had something for her and then presented her with a single diamond ring,' he said.
The wedding was held in Charlevoix, at Castle Fams, where 70 guests including Mr Ramsey's other adult children were present.
It was in that same city JonBenet won the Little Miss Charlevoix crown in 1994.
He said of JonBenet -who would have turned 21 on August 6: 'Never a day goes by when I don't think about her. The saddest part is that her future was lost. We believe she is in a better place, and it is left to us to grieve for her. But I have no doubt she will be smiling.'
Mr Ramsey said his late wife, Patsy, would give her blessing. Mr Ramsey and his late wife wrote about the death of their daughter,JonBenet, in the book The Death of Innocence, and Mr Ramsey, who owned a computer software company, became a motivational speaker. He has run twice, unsuccessfully, for public office in Charlevoix.
He is currently completing another book set for release next year, entitled: The Other Side of Suffering: The Father of JonBenet Ramsey Tells the Story of His Journey from Grief to Grace.
Fifteen years after JonBenet was found dead in the family cellar, however, the riddle of her death remains unsolved.
The six-year-old had been sexually assaulted, and her bound and gagged body was discovered in the Boulder house on Boxing Day, 1996. The media coverage of JonBenet's death often focused on her participation in child beauty pageants and her parents' affluence, as well as questions regarding police handling of the case.
According to the evidence of mother, Patricia, she discovered her daughter was missing after finding a two-and-a-half-page ransom note on the kitchen staircase demanding $118,000 for her safe return -a figure that was almost the exact value of a bonus her husband had received earlier that year.
Despite specific instructions in the ransom note that police and friends not be contacted, she telephoned the police and called family and friends.
The local police conducted a cursory search of the house but did not find any obvious signs of a break-in or forced entry. The note suggested that the ransom collection would be monitored and JonBenet would be returned as soon as the money was obtained.
Mr Ramsey made arrangements for the ransom, which a friend picked up that morning from a local bank.
That afternoon Boulder Police Detective Linda Arndt asked Fleet White, a friend of the Ramseys, to take Mr Ramsey and another friend and search the house for 'anything unusual'.
Mr Ramsey and his friends started their search in the basement and, after first searching the bathroom and another room, the three of them went to a wine cellar room where Mr Ramsey found his daughter's body covered in her special white blanket.
She was also found with a nylon cord around her neck, her wrists tied above her head, and duct tape covering her mouth.
Investigators were immediately suspicious that the girl’s body was found in her own home in Boulder, Colorado, and said the parents were under an ‘umbrella of suspicion’.
Police initially worked on the theory that Mrs Ramsey had killed her daughter in a fit of rage after she wet her bed and that her husband –who as a former naval officer would have been able to tie the complicated knot around the girl’s neck –helped cover up the crime. Investigators suspected Mrs Ramsey had written the ransom note.
Another theory speculated that Mr Ramsey, a wealthy businessman, had murdered the girl to cover up sexual abuse. Despite his age, Burke also came under suspicion.
Mrs Ramsey said he had been asleep when she found the ransom note but there were reports that his voice could be heard in the background when his mother rang police.
Boulder police gave up the case in 2002, in part because of accusations that they had bungled the investigation by ruining evidence and concentrating solely on the Ramseys as suspects.
In 2008 -two years after Mrs Ramsey’s death from cancer -the Boulder County district attorney told the Ramseys they had been exonerated by the discovery of DNA traces of an unidentified male on the pyjamas worn by JonBenet on the night she died.
Prosecutors said the DNA was not from the Ramsey family and was almost definitely that of the killer.
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