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Thursday
Oct112012

Body Found Near Home of Missing Colorado Girl

Westminster PD(WESTMINSTER, Colo.) -- Investigators in the case of missing Colorado girl Jessica Ridgeway announced Wednesday that a body was found in Arvada, Colo., just a few miles from the 10-year-old’s home in Westminster.

Investigators have yet to identify the body, but three sources told ABC News that investigators have reasons to believe it is Jessica, stressing that a positive identification will take time.

Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso said the body was discovered in a park space.

“The Arvada Police Department and Westminster Police Department are working jointly with additional resources to process that crime scene,” Materasso told reporters Wednesday evening.  “At this time, we’re unable to make any connection to the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway.  That crime scene will exist through the evening and into tomorrow morning.”

Earlier Wednesday, authorities cleared Jessica’s parents as suspects in her disappearance.

“At this point in the investigation, after thoroughly looking at the parents, we’re confident that they’re not involved in the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway,” said Materasso. “The focus shifts to an unknown suspect, as we think that she was abducted.”

Sarah Ridgeway told police she last saw her daughter last Friday morning when Jessica left for school in Westminster. The fifth-grader never showed up at a nearby park where she was supposed to meet friends for the one-mile walk to her elementary school.

The school called to report Jessica absent, but Sarah Ridgeway told police she was asleep during the day because she works overnights and did not get the call until eight hours later, when she called police.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio