Ten years ago, Little Miss Colorado and Little Miss Texas were competing back to back.
Almost everyone knows the fate that befell Little Miss Colorado, JonBenet Ramsey: She was found brutally murdered in her home the day after Christmas in 1996.
Former Little Miss Texas, Thumper Gosney, is now 16 -- just like JonBenet would be. She provides a glimpse at what JonBenet could have become had she survived to begin her junior year in high school.
"When we were five-years-old, we just competed together and it was great," Gosney said.
Gosney still remembers private moments with JonBenet just before stepping into the spotlight.
"She always talked to me backstage and she didn't have to worry about Mom saying 'Don't talk to her, you are going to get unfocused,' " Gosney said.
Success Through Pageants
Gosney, who got the nickname Thumper before birth because she kicked so strongly in the womb, won 300 crowns and $25,000 in scholarship money from pageants; but those days are over.
"I have so much to do 'cause I am in theater arts," Gosney said. "I was in the dance team last year. I have to go to all the football games, you know. It is all great."
Yet she still harbors the memories of being a confused little girl who saw pictures of her friend on television.
"I would say, 'Mommy why is my friend on TV?' And my mom would turn it off," she said.
"I decided at that time I was not going to tell her about it," said Susan Gosney, Thumper's mother. "I didn't want her to be scared."
The family said the arrest of John Mark Karr has forced them to relive the horror, and they have their doubts about his confession.
"I just hope they find the right killer," Thumper Gosney said. "If that is the right killer, then they need to put him behind bars to save everyone else."
If JonBenet were alive today, Gosney said, she too would be getting ready for her junior year of high school and old enough to compete in the National Junior Miss America competition. Both girls once dreamed of becoming Miss America. She also thinks they would still be friends.
"I think we would have remained friends forever," she said.
ABC News' Mike Von Fremd contributed to this report.