At 6:00 A . M . the telephone awakened Cliff Gaston. It was Patsy Ramsey. Priscilla took the call, and within minutes the Whites were dressed and on their way to the Ramseys’ house. When they arrived, the police and John Fernie were already there. Patsy was on the floor, hysterical, and her hus- band was trying to comfort her. It was still dark outside.
White told the detectives that he had been there only a few minutes when he started to search the house. Alone, he went down to the basement, found some of the lights on, and started calling out JonBenét’s name. It was so cluttered down there—with boxes stacked everywhere and shelves overflowing with odds and ends—that he could hardly see any open spaces where she might be.
He started in Burke’s train and hobby room, where he saw a suitcase sitting under a broken window. On the floor under the window, he found small pieces of glass. He placed some of them on the windowsill. Then he moved the suitcase a few feet to get a closer look at the window. White said he was sure the window was closed but unlatched.
After he left the train room, he turned right, into the boiler room. At the back of the room, he said, he saw a door to what the Ramseys called the wine cellar. He turned the closed wooden latch and opened the door. The room was pitch-black, he said. He didn’t enter, and he saw nothing. When he couldn’t find a light switch, he closed the door and went back upstairs.
He did not remember whether or not he relatched the door. Later, when White saw John Fernie, he told him that a window downstairs had been punched open. The police wondered why White had not seen JonBenét’s body and later Ramsey had, since they both stood at the same spot after opening the door to the wine cellar.