Patsy Ramsey in 2000
KRT/Newscom; MARIO TAMA/AFP/Getty /Newscom
06/24/2006 at 11:55 AM EDT
Patsy Ramsey, the mother of slain child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, died on Saturday from cancer in Atlanta, the family's attorney told CNN.
Ramsey's husband, John, was at her side when she died at about 3:30 a.m., attorney L. Lin Wood told the cable network. Ramsey, 49, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1993, underwent treatment and lived cancer-free for nine years, Wood said. Three years ago she suffered a recurrence, he said.
JonBenet, 6, was found beaten and strangled in the family's Boulder, Colorado, home on December 26, 1996, in a case that remains unsolved. Her parents came under the Boulder police's "umbrella of suspicion," but a grand jury issued no indictments.
The slaying drew intense media coverage focusing on JonBenet's success in youth beauty pageants, the family's affluence and mysterious elements of the case, including a note that initially led police to believe the girl had been kidnapped.
"Over the last two, three years they have come to understand there's been a shift in public opinion about the death of JonBenet and people realize now that this family was very much victims of that murder and have suffered because of it in terms of the false accusations made against them," Wood said.