Aug. 17, 2006 — -- John Ramsey, father of JonBenet Ramsey, spoke to Barbara Walters on "Nightline" after authorities announced that there had been an arrest in the 10-year-old murder case. John Mark Karr, a 41-year-old former teacher, was arrested in Thailand and admitted that he was with her when he died, calling the death " an accident."
John Ramsey spoke live to Walters via telephone from Charlevoix, Michigan. Her are the excerpts from "Nightline:"
BARBARA WALTERS: "Mr. Ramsey thank you for being with us on what must for you be the most emotional day. Can you tell us what you were told about the suspect, and how long you have known."
JOHN RAMSEY: "Well, I was notified this morning by the district attorney that an arrest had been made. I knew that they had been working on this diligently for three to four months -- intensely is probably a better word. We knew within the last two weeks that they had this person under surveillance and had identified him and knew where he was which was a huge accomplishment, so we were hopeful that it was coming but didn't allow our hopes to get up too high."
WALTERS: "Mr. Ramsey, did your wife know before she died that there was a suspect?"
WALTERS: "She did know."
RAMSEY:"She did know. We had met with the district attorney -- Patsy had met with her and she was aware that they were working very hard on a possible suspect."
WALTERS: "I'm so glad to hear that. Did you ever hear of the suspect? Do you have any idea how he knew your daughter?"
RAMSEY: "I don't, Barbara, and I had not heard of him, so I don't know. I don't know. And we don't know certainly that with 100 percent certainty that this is the guy. I think they would not have made an arrest had they not been very convinced that he was."
WALTERS: "Why did they tell you that they think he is guilty -- did he say certain things that allowed them to say that he knows things that nobody else knows?"
RAMSEY: "Apparently. That's a good part of it. I'm told that he also confessed to the killing."
WALTERS: "I heard that the police or the authorities said to you, 'John, there are things that you wouldn't want to know.'"
RAMSEY: "Right. Yes they did. And I can't emphasize what an amazing and impressive task they have accomplished in getting this far. This was not an easy thing to do. The agencies that worked on this were just extremely professional and they went about there job efficiently."
WALTERS: "Tell me how many different agencies or perhaps different countries were involved in finding this man."
RAMSEY: "I know that Canadian police were involved, the British police, the FBI, the immigration customs enforcement, homeland security, the Roswell police, Georgia city and of course Thai police, so It's an amazing accomplishment. We should be thankful that we have professionals like this that are able to do their job well."
WALTERS: "That's an amazingly large group of people that have been involved. What turned them on to him in the first place?"
RAMSEY: "Well I think--I don't know, I think the best person to answer that is the district attorney. I think she will have a press conference tomorrow."
WALTERS: "Have they tested his DNA?"
RAMSEY: "I don't know at this moment."
WALTERS: "You know Mr. Ramsey, for 10 years you and your wife have been under suspicion, even your son Burke who is now in college, there was a time when people thought perhaps it was Burke. I can't imagine what you're feeling today. Can you tell us?"
RAMSEY: "Well, it's certainly a day we have been waiting for for 10 years. I hope this is a first major step in really drawing this to a conclusion, but it also opens up old wounds, and that's painful."
WALTERS: "I wonder if you feel vindicated, sir, do you?"
RAMSEY: "I've never felt convicted other than by the media. People have been wonderful to us throughout all this. Our fellow human beings--it's been wonderful. It's just important that we have the right conclusion here and we allow justice run its course and do what it's designed to do, and that's to find the truth."
WALTERS: "Thank you Mr. Ramsey, we're very appreciative that on a day like this you've taken the time to talk to us. We hope you will finally have closure."
RAMSEY: "Well thank you. You're very welcome, Barbara, thank you."