Body found near where Colo. girl, 10, disappeared
By The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 7:24 p.m.
WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Colorado police looking for a 10-year-old girl who disappeared on her walk to school have found a body in a park but are not saying whether it is linked to the case and noted on Thursday that officers are still searching for her.
The discovery of the body is the latest turn in the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway, during which police have looked for clues in a reported sighting in a car with Colorado plates in Maine and a Wyoming abduction. The FBI said Thursday that abduction was unrelated.
Police spokesman Trevor Materasso said the body “is not intact” and that has slowed the work of identification. Materasso said no other information would be released until Friday, and he left a brief midday news conference without answering any questions.
Police earlier declined to say whether the body was that of a child.
The body was found late Wednesday at Pattridge Park park in the Denver suburb of Arvada, about seven miles from where Jessica disappeared in the nearby suburb of Westminster on Oct. 5.
Materasso said investigators were processing evidence from the park and that no additional information was available. He left without answering questions.
In tweets, Westminster police said investigators had worked overnight to identify the body. Officers searched more of the park Thursday as well as areas closer to Jessica's home. Police said photo radar vans — normally used to detect and photograph speeding vehicles — were being used to monitor some streets around the girl's house.
Police have ruled out her parents — Sarah Ridgeway, who lives in Colorado, and Jeremiah Bryant, who lives in Missouri. Authorities believe Jessica was kidnapped by an “unknown suspect.” Jessica's mother last saw her daughter walking to school. The girl never arrived, setting off a frantic search by hundreds of law enforcement officials and residents.
Aurelio Florez, who has lived in Jessica's neighborhood for six years, said it was shocking that Jessica could have vanished during a two-block walk to a park where she usually met friends before continuing on to school.
“You can see the park from her front door,” he said.
Fliers about the fifth-grader were posted on nearly every house in her neighborhood of modest, two-story homes with single-car garages.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Fire destroys Eau Claire market, no injuries reported
- Pa. unemployment rate at the lowest since 2008; more workers finding jobs
- Donald turns down New York invite for NFL Draft
- Breaking down Saturday’s Pirates-Brewers game
- Survivors in critical condition a day after fifth Armstrong County car crash victim dies
- Man found fatally shot in Larimer a mile away from Homewood peace march
- Chat with Dejan Kovacevic: April 18, 2014
- Pens insider: Penalty killing a concern in Stanley Cup playoffs
- Captain of sunken ferry arrested, South Korean agency reports
- Police investigate shooting in Muddy Creek
- Crews search for Latrobe woman in Linn Run State Park