A body found in an open field near Denver on Oct. 10 has been positively identified as missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. Police are looking for her killer, who may be involved in the near-abductions of two more kids.
Jessica Ridgeway went missing on Oct. 5 when she left her home in the Arvada, Colo. suburb of Denver to meet up with friends on her way to school, but never made to the park three blocks away. Police began an agonizing search, which uncovered Jessica’s body in an open field just miles from where she was last seen.
Arvada police are now looking for a man who is suspected in the near-kidnapping of two area children for a possible connection.
In two reported incidents, on Sept. 9 and Sept. 12, an 8- and a 9-year-old were almost abducted. They were both offered candy to get into a vehicle, but both ran and told an adult.
Jessica’s body was found on Oct. 10, but wasn’t identified to the public until Oct. 12 during a press conference. The positive identification of her body was delayed because her body was so badly dismembered and “not intact.”
With no major breaks in the case, the Arvada community remains on edge.
“We recognize there is a predator at large in our community,” Westminster, Colo., Police Chief Lee Birk said on Oct. 12.
The FBI say the suspect is most likely a man, who was either a “no show” at work immediately after the incident and offered a plausible excuse. The person might also show intense interest in the case and the media coverage, or change the subject altogether.
“It could be your boss, it could be your friend and, ultimately, it could be your family member,” FBI spokesman David Joly said.
Such a tragic ending to a horrific missing child case. Our thoughts are with Jessica’s family and her community during this time.
— Christina Stiehl
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