This Christmas marks 21 years since six-year-old pageant queen JonBenét Ramsey was found killed in her Colorado home. The media’s fascination with the still-unsolved case continues decades later, but that hasn’t stopped her family from attempting to move on with their lives — including brother Burke Ramsey.
Though Burke was only nine years old at the time of his sister’s death, for years, he was believed by the public to be involved in JonBenét’s murder. Still, after collecting DNA and writing samples and conducting a number of interviews, the police ruled that the elementary schooler was not a suspect, and he went on to grow up out of the public eye.
The Boulder native re-emerged in 2016 with a controversial interview and a major lawsuit, and we now have some idea about what he’s been up to. Read on for an update on Burke’s life now.
Burke is a grown man
The oldest of the two Ramsey children, Burke was born on Jan. 27, 1987, and he’s now 30 years old — turning 31 next month. He attended Purdue University, where he studied computer technology, graduating in 2009. His dad, John Ramsey, told People in 2012 that his son had “matured” and was living a “pretty quiet” life.
He lives and works alone
Even after his media appearance in 2016 — more on that later — Burke continues to keep things private. He is employed as a software engineer, choosing to work out of his home so as to avoid being around other people in an office.
But he may have a girlfriend
Though he hasn’t spoken about his romantic life, Burke has been rumored to have a girlfriend. In 2015, an Australian news outlet shared a social media photo of the then-28-year-old looking cozy with a pretty blonde woman. It’s unclear if they were actually dating or whether they’re still together.
He still denies any involvement in his sister’s death
In fall 2016, Burke taped a widely-criticized Dr. Phil interview where he maintained his innocence in JonBenét’s murder. He defended himself against those — including the host — saying he seems “unbothered” by the tragedy by reasoning, “At some point, you have to move on. I’m not saying I moved on then. It might have been kind of the other end. I didn’t really get it. You have to stop crying at some point, I guess.”
Burke still talks to JonBenét
In his chat with Dr. Phil, Burke further explained how much he misses his sister. He even tries to talk to her in heaven, explaining, “Like there’s some important thing I was doing, [I’d] be like, ‘Hey, thanks for looking out for me’ or ‘I hope you’re looking out for me,’ or you know, ‘Hope you’re having fun up there because I’m taking some test,’ or like, ‘I wish I was up there right now.’”
He’s in the midst of a serious lawsuit
In December 2016, Burke filed a lawsuit against CBS over their four-hour docu-series, The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey. The series offered the theory that he had killed his sister, which Burke and his attorneys say defamed his character. In the paperwork, he declared he was seeking $250 million in compensatory damages and $500 million in punitive damages. The network tried to have the case dismissed in spring 2017, but it’s currently still pending.
His father is also suing CBS
Almost a year later, in October 2017, Burke’s dad John Ramsey filed his own lawsuit against CBS for their damaging docuseries. He called it a “sham reinvestigation” of the case, adding that the accusation against Burke was based on “lies, half-truths, manufactured information, and the intentional omission and avoidance of truthful information.” John is said to be seeking $350 million in damages.
Burke also lost his mother
John is quick to defend his son, so it seems he and Burke still have a good relationship. Sadly, the elder Ramsey is the only immediate family member who can offer support, as Burke’s mother, former Miss West Virginia Patsy Ramsey, died from ovarian cancer at age 49 in 2006.