Ex-detective tells ABC that she was terrified when body was found

Monday, September 13th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) -- The police detective who was present when the body
of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey was found by her father says she
feared for her life.

Linda Arndt, who was alone in the room with John Ramsey, told
ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview broadcast this
morning that she remembers "tucking my gun right next to me ...
and consciously counting out the 18 bullets."

No one has been charged, but authorities say the child's parents
remain under suspicion. They have denied any involvement.

Arndt was the first detective to arrive at the Ramsey home on
Dec. 26, 1996, after Patsy Ramsey called 911 to report that her
daughter was missing and she had found a 21/2-page ransom note.

Court records said that hours later, after no call came from any
kidnappers, Arndt asked John Ramsey, the child's millionaire
businessman father, and a friend to search the house for anything
unusual. He went downstairs and emerged minutes later with the
girl's body. She had been beaten and strangled.

"My mind exploded. ... I saw black with thousands of lights,"
Arndt said. "Everything that I noted that morning that stuck out
instantly made sense."

She said she knelt down next to the dead child, face to face
with Ramsey. He asked if JonBenet was dead and Arndt said yes, she

"We had a nonverbal exchange that I will never forget. ... And
as we looked at each other, I remember, and I wore a shoulder
holster, tucking my gun right next to me and consciously counting
out the 18 bullets."

She was asked why, and replied:
"'Cause I didn't know if we'd all be alive when people showed

Arndt's interview is the first time she has spoken publicly
about the case, and it will be aired over five days, beginning
today. The first segment of the interview did not indicate who
Arndt believes killed JonBenet, but ABC executive producer Shelley
Ross said that information would be in a later segment.

Boulder police have been harshly criticized for their handling
of the case, including Arndt's allowing Ramsey to recover the body.
She said in the interview that she had told him that when he
searched the house, if he found anything unusual he should not
touch it.

Arndt resigned in March and is suing the Boulder police chief
and the city, claiming her free-speech rights were violated when
police were ordered not to discuss the case.

Arndt told ABC she feels she has been "scapegoated." She said
when she called for backup, she was told everybody was in a