Friday, February 22, 1997
Ramsey case adds Miami U. link
Police seek half sister's classmates

The Cincinnati Enquirer

JonBenet Ramsey

JonBenet Ramsey

Elizabeth Ramsey

Elizabeth Ramsey

OXFORD - The highly publicized murder investigation of JonBenet Ramsey, the Colorado child beauty pageant winner found dead in her home in December, has come to Miami University.

Police from Boulder, Colo., have asked college officials to contact friends of Elizabeth Ramsey, a 1991 Miami graduate who was the half sister of JonBenet and a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, The Enquirer learned Friday.

Authorities in Colorado would not elaborate on why they want to learn about Ms. Ramsey's life in Oxford. She died in a January 1992 auto accident in Chicago.

At the request of police, Miami officials contacted former sorority sisters and gave them a Boulder police telephone number. It was left up to the students to decide whether they wanted to be interviewed by police, said Holly Wissing, university spokeswoman.

''The university was contacted by Boulder police to confirm that she was a student here,'' Mrs. Wissing said.

''We have no information that they have any plans to come to campus and they have not been here yet,'' Mrs. Wissing said.

A student who answered the telephone Friday at the Oxford chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta referred all questions to national sorority spokeswoman Karen Alter in Indianapolis. Ms. Alter said she knew nothing about the investigation.

JonBenet was found strangled in the Ramseys' basement on Dec. 26. About eight hours earlier, Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's mother and Elizabeth's stepmother, found a ransom note demanding $118,000 and called police.

Elizabeth Ramsey, who moved to Atlanta after leaving Oxford, graduated with a degree in finance. The 22-year-old was remembered by finance professor David Marshall for her ready smile, soft voice and a tragic senior year.

''The part that strikes me was that she faced some tough times in the last part of her life,'' he said. ''A boyfriend was hospitalized with cystic fibrosis. She visited him, and he died over the Christmas holidays.

''That's what stood out in my mind - that she had to go through that. And then to die eight months after graduation, what an unfortunate life she had in her last year. She was a very pleasant lady.''

Ms. Ramsey also was a member of Senior Challenge, which raises money for a class gift on campus.

Dayton resident Wilma Metzger, the adult adviser to the sorority in 1991, said Ms. Ramsey stood out. She was a person who apparently welcomed a challenge, Mrs. Metzger said Friday.

''She was very dedicated to her responsibilities,'' she said. ''I remember Beth as a very lovely girl. She was more or less reserved, well-mannered and soft-spoken. It was such a shock to all the girls when she died.''

The 1992 crash that claimed Ms. Ramsey also killed her boyfriend, Matthew Derrington. News outlets in Colorado reported Thursday that Boulder police had asked the Cook County coroner's office in Illinois to seal Ms. Ramsey's autopsy report.

However, Boulder officials told The Enquirer Friday they no longer wanted the report under wraps.

''It appears that it is no longer relevant to the investigation,'' said Kelvin McNeill, spokesman for the city of Boulder.