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The detective who was present when the body of JonBenet Ramsey, 6, was found by her father in his basement says she feared for her life.

Linda Arndt was the first detective to arrive at the home on Dec. 26, 1996, after Patsy Ramsey called 911 to report that her daughter was missing and that she had found a 2 1/2 -page ransom note.

She told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the Ramseys didn't react when kidnappers failed to call as the note promised.

"Ten o'clock comes and goes, and there's no acknowledgment within the house from anyone that the deadline has come and gone," she said.

Hours later, Ms. Arndt asked John Ramsey 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," Ms. 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. "We had a nonverbal exchange that I will never forget," she said.

"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."

Asked why, she replied, " 'Cause I didn't know if we'd all be alive when people showed up."

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

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