New Details in JonBenet Ramsey Murder Arrest

Published: Aug. 17, 2006 at 8:36 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2006 at 3:20 PM EDT
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AP photo: John Karr in Thailand.
AP photo: John Karr in Thailand.

Ten  years ago, the murder of JonBenet Ramsey captured the attention of the entire country. Today, new details emerged as a teacher confessed to being with the child when she died and tells of what happened before.

A lawyer for John Mark Karr would only say that Karr once lived near the family in Conyers, Georgia. Karr allegedly told Thailand police he drugged and had sex JonBenet, but did not mean to kill her.

"I was with her when she died," Karr said in front of media Thursday morning.

Appearing dazed, 41-year-old John Mark Karr admitted to killing the child beauty queen, but said it was unintentional.

"Her death was an accident," he said.

A former school teacher in the US, Karr was arrested at an apartment in Thailand on Wednesday. In a stunning confession, authorities say Karr claims JonBenet's murder was the result of a failed plan to kidnap the girl and he's sorry for what happened.

"It's very important to me that everyone knows I love her very much," Karr stated.

JonBenet was six years old when she was found beaten and strangled in 1996 in the basement of her family's Colorado home the day after Christmas. Her mother Patsy reported finding a ransom note demanding $118,000 for the return of her daughter.

Ever since the murder, JonBenet's parents, John and Patsy, have been viewed as suspects, even though there was unexplained DNA found on JonBenet. Karr's arrest erases that suspicion, but it comes too late for Patsy, who died of cancer just two months ago.

So far John Ramsey has only issued a written statement saying that Patsy was aware of Karr's investigation and he is pleased with the arrest.

"We should follow the advice of John Ramsey and not jump to conclusions and pass judgment," Boulder district attorney Mary Lacy said.

A string of emails between Karr and a Colorado professor reportedly tipped police off. While Karr would not comment on his relationship with the Ramseys, he claims to have sent letters of apology to the family.

When asked if he was an innocent man, one word summed it up. "No."

Prosecutors say this case is a long way from being closed. Karr will be taken to Colorado and faces first-degree murder and child sexual assault charges.

Reporters caught up with John Mark Karr's brother outside his Atlanta home. He told them his brother was innocent.

"This is a little weird, definitely," Nate Karr told reporters. "This is just ridiculous. And through our comments tomorrow, you'll understand. We have not spoken to him today."

The family is expected to comment Friday to the media.

Reported by: Don Logana,