Conflict & Tragedy
Unidentified body confirmed as 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway
Colorado authorities confirmed a sad discovery Friday when they identified remains found on Wednesday as those of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. Jessica disappeared on Oct. 5 after leaving her Westminster, Colo., home on her way to a local park to meet a friend she usually met with to walk to Witt Elementary School where she attended. Authorities say Jessica never made it to the park which is only about three blocks from her home.
Jessica's body was found in a field in the adjacent city of Arvada, which is located about 6 miles from Westminster. According to police, her body was dismembered. Police believe that her abductor is from the area where she was taken.
"There is predator at large in our community," said Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk, adding that the FBI is still actively involved in the case.
The FBI has issued the following profile of the suspect:
- Often, someone in the community will unknowingly be associated with the offender of the crime, and may be in a position to observe behavioral changes in that person. They will recognize the changes, and may even question the person about it, but may not relate the changes to that person’s involvement in the crime.
- Immediately following the incident, he may miss work. The absence will be sudden and unplanned. He may either be a “no show” or he may offer a plausible excuse such as illness, death in the family, car trouble, etc.
- He may miss scheduled appointments/commitments and be unaccounted for during this period. These appointments/commitments may include such things as medical appointments, meetings with a probation officer, prior commitment to a friend or family member, drug test, etc.
- He may suddenly leave town, either with no explanation or with some plausible reason.
- This individual may express an intense interest in the status of this investigation and pay close attention to the media. However, some offenders may quickly turn off media accounts or try to redirect conversations concerning the victims or their families.
- There may be changes in the usual consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
- He may make a change in his appearance or alter something to prevent identification, such as changing the look of his vehicle, clean or discard his vehicle.
Although police have declined to comment further on Jessica's case, Colorado Springs station KKTV has discovered information on two attempted abductions one month before Jessica's murder and an actual abduction where a girl was reportedly taken for about 20 minutes then released, unharmed at a gas station. In each case the suspect was described as driving a blue sedan. Police were able to put together a composite sketch of the suspect but the suspect was never located.
Anyone with information can call 303-658-4336.