Ridgeway, 10, disappeared while walking from her Colorado home on October 5 to meet other schoolmates to walk to Witt Elementary School. She never arrived at school and school authorities called the mother, Sarah Ridgeway, to inform her that her child never arrived at school.
Sarah Ridgeway, who works nights, did not hear the phone ringing and Jessica Ridgeway’s disappearance was not reported until many hours later.
A massive search took place and, although there was no signs of Jessica, her water bottle and backpack were found the day after she disappeared.
On Thursday, a body was found in a park in Arvada Colorado.
Authorities were initially tight-lipped and would not divulge if the body belonged to a man, woman or child.
They then released a statement and said that the body was not “intact” and it would take some time to identify the body.
Police on Friday confirmed that the body of Jessica Ridgeway is positively identified.
Ridgeway’s parents, Sarah Ridgeway and Jeremiah Bryant, are estranged and have presented a united front throughout the investigation. They were quickly ruled out as suspects.
Westminster Police Chief Lee Burke said at the news conference held that the focus of the investigation has changed. He said,
Our focus has changed from the search for Jessica to a mission of justice for Jessica. We realize there is a predator at large in our community.
An FBI profile has been put together and they’re asking for the public’s help if anyone recognizes any of the characteristics listed in the profile.
The suspect is likely male and may have recently missed work or suddenly left town. The suspect may have changed their appearance by either getting a new hairstyle or growing a beard or shaving off an existing one. The suspect may have also recently missed work and has expressed a strong interest in the disappearance,and now known death, of Jessica Ridgeway. There may also be noticeable changes in the usual consumption of alcohol and/or drugs
FBI spokesman David Joly said,
It could be your boss, it could be your friend and, ultimately, it could be your family member.
Although the body of Jessica Ridgeway is positively identified, police are not giving up and are focusing on catching the person that murdered and apparently dismembered Jessica Ridgeway.
If you had any information regarding the Jessica Ridgeway case, please contact police at (303) 658-4336 or PDAmberAlerts@cityofwestminster.us.