SEARCH

Entries in Jessica Ridgeway (16)

Saturday
Feb232013

Jessica Ridgeway Murder Suspect Allegedly Confessed on 911 Call

Courtesy Westminster Police Department(DENVER) -- The teenage suspect in the murder and dismemberment of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway will stand trial after a judge ruled there is enough evidence, including an alleged 911 confession, to move forward with the case.

Prosecutors played the 911 recording on Friday at a preliminary hearing for Austin Sigg, 18, in which the teen confessed to murdering the fifth grader and trying to kidnap a female jogger.

"I murdered Jessica Ridgeway, I have proof that I did. I'm giving myself up completely, there will be no resistance whatsoever," Sigg said on the Oct. 23, 2012, recording, according to ABC News Denver affiliate KMGH-TV.

The dispatcher then asked about his criminal history.

"The only other [incident] was Ketner Lake, where a woman was attacked. That was me," Sigg said in the recording.

A lead investigator on the case testified that Mindy Sigg, the teen's mother, told the dispatcher her son had hidden Jessica's remains in a crawl space under the family home, KMGH reported.

Authorities arrested Sigg at his Westminster, Colo., home that evening.

Sigg is charged with murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and robbery in the Ridgeway case.

He faces an attempted kidnapping charge for the May 28, 2012, attack on a 22-year-old female jogger. Police said a man tried to grab her from behind on a trail around Ketner Lake.

The woman said the man tried to put a rag over her mouth that had a chemical smell. She was able to get away and call 911.

A judge ruled Friday that Sigg should be held without bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 12.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov272012

Jessica Ridgeway Murder Suspect Eats Alone, Plays Sudoku

Westminster Police Dept(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- The teenage suspect accused of murdering and dismembering 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway was called “intelligent and mature” by his jail supervisors and deemed fit to be held at an adult jail facility in Colorado.

Austin Sigg, 17, is accused of killing Ridgeway while she was on her way to school on Oct. 5.  The fifth-grader’s body was found dismembered in a park days later.

Sigg is also accused of attempted abduction of a female jogger in a May 2012 incident in a park in Arapahoe County, Colo., where he lives. He has been held in isolation at a juvenile facility since his arrest in October.

On Tuesday, his jail supervisor, a security guard, and the supervisor of the Jefferson County adult jail all testified that because Sigg has demonstrated he is intelligent and mature, and has had no problems at the the juvenile facility, he could be safely transferred to the adult prison.

The witnesses testified that Sigg eats his meals alone and spends his time playing Sudoku.

Sigg’s attorney, a public defender, argued that because of Sigg’s small stature and the fact that other inmates could “potentially scream and yell at the child, Austin Sigg” should be kept in the juvenile facility. Judge Stephen Munsinger ruled that Sigg, who turns 18 in January, should be transferred.

Sigg, who appeared in court in a bright green jail jumpsuit, will be tried as an adult. The defense waived its right to fight for him to be tried as a juvenile in the first week after his arrest.

Nine members of Ridgeway’s family showed up for the hearing, many of them wearing the color purple,  Ridgeway’s favorite color, which they have worn at each of the hearings since Sigg’s arrest.

They showed little emotion during the two-hour hearing, but were upbeat and even making jokes with their victims’ advocate and among themselves.  At one point, they exchanged notes and chuckled.

Five members of Sigg’s family were also in the courtroom, including his mother. Neither Sigg nor his family showed any emotion during the hearing.

A trial date has not yet been set.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct302012

Teenage Suspect in Ridgeway Murder Charged with 17 Counts

Courtesy Westminster Police Department(DENVER) -- The 17-year-old who allegedly confessed to the murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway was formally charged as an adult Tuesday in Jefferson County, Colo., court.

Austin Sigg was charged with 17 counts. Eleven of the charges were related to Ridgeway's disappearance and subsequent death, including first-degree murder with deliberation, felony murder, second-degree kidnapping, sexual assault on a child, and robbery.

The other six charges pertained to Sigg's attempted abduction of a 22-year-old jogger in May 2012, and included attempted first-degree murder, sexual assault with criminal intent and second-degree kidnapping.

If he's convicted, Sigg faces a minimum of 40 years in jail before he can be considered for parole.

Sigg entered the courtroom Tuesday morning wearing a green jumpsuit; his wrists and ankles were shackled together. While he was alert during the hearing, he did not speak or appear to ask questions of his attorneys.

ABC affiliate KMGH reports that eight members of Ridgeway's family were in the courtroom for the arraignment, all dressed in the 10-year-old's favorite color, purple. Sarah Ridgeway, Jessica's mother, wore a white T-shirt decorated with eagle wings carrying a purple ribbon. The shirt bore the phrase "Justice for Jessica."

When the sexual assault charge was read, Sarah Ridgeway put her head down.

On the opposite side of the courtroom, Sigg's parents sat a few rows behind their son, keeping his younger brother between them. At one point Mindy Sigg rubbed her ex-husband's back. Rob Sigg appeared to mutter several prayers to himself before and throughout hearing.

At the end of the hearing, Sigg's mother, father and younger brother all sat with their heads down.

Sigg's attorneys have filed a request to get the case back into the juvenile system. If the reverse transfer is approved, Sigg would not be tried as an adult.

The next hearing in the trial is scheduled for Nov. 27.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct262012

Prosecutors: DNA Links Suspect to Jessica Ridgeway's Murder

Courtesy Westminster Police Department(GOLDEN, Colo.) -- Prosecutors in court said they have a confession and DNA tying a 17-year-old college student to the kidnapping and murder of Jessica Ridgeway after sources told ABC News that human remains were found at his home in Westminster, Colo.

Austin Reed Sigg made his first court appearance in Jefferson County Court on Thursday, one day after he was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree kidnapping and two counts of criminal attempts.

Prosecutors said that Sigg's DNA was on Ridgeway's backpack and at the crime scene in Arvada, Colo., where her body was found on Oct. 10.  Lawyers also said that traces of Sigg's DNA were left at a crime scene involving a jogger who was attacked in May.

Sources told ABC News that human remains believed to be Ridgeway's were found inside his home, which is less than a mile away from where the 10-year-old lived with her mother.  Investigators have been searching for clues in Sigg's home since his arrest.  Sigg shares the home with his mother, Mindy.

"Austin functions on a different reality, perhaps, than the rest of us.  The idea that he has partial remains at his house may be excitement, may be adventure, may be sexual," former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett said.

Sigg was arrested on Wednesday after confessing to his mother, who then called police so her son could turn himself in, sources told ABC News on Thursday.

Though Sigg will be tried as an adult, if convicted, he is not eligible for the death penalty or for a mandatory life sentence without parole, under Colorado law.  Sigg has not entered a plea.

Cameras and sketches were not allowed inside the court on Thursday, but ABC News producer Philip Maravilla sat behind Ridgeway's family.  The family was dressed in pink, which was Ridgeway's favorite color.

The Ridgeway family did not interact with Sigg's family, according to Maravilla, who said he didn't see any eye contact between the two families.

"[The Ridgeway's] seemed to not have any animosity toward the Sigg group.  On the Sigg side, I could hear some weeping," Maravilla said.

Sigg is a student at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colo., according to his arrest report, where classmates said he was studying mortuary science.  He took second place in a high school competition involving crime-scene investigations.

Sigg's parents are divorced, but his father, Rob, released a statement overnight.

"There are no words to express the sorrow that I and my family feel for their pain they are suffering" his statement said.  "I ask also for your prayers and support for Austin's mother, whose courageous act … unimaginably painful for any parent … has put this tragedy on the path to resolution."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct252012

Jessica Ridgeway Murder Suspect Confessed to Mother, Sources Say

Courtesy Westminster Police Department(WESTMINSTER, Colo.) -- The 17-year-old boy arrested in connection to the abduction, murder and dismemberment of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway confessed to his mother, who then called police in Colorado so her son could turn himself in, sources said.

Austin Reed Sigg was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree kidnapping and two counts of criminal attempts.

The charges against Sigg are for Ridgeway's death and for the alleged attempted abduction of a jogger in May 2012.

Sigg will appear in Jefferson County Court later Thursday morning for his initial appearance.  The district attorney says he plans on charging Sigg as an adult.

Investigators scoured the Westminster, Colo., home overnight where Sigg lives with his mother.  FBI agents combed the backyard for clues and towed away his car.

"He was always egotistical, but I never thought he would go this far," Austin Cassie, who has known Sigg since elementary school, said.  "I mean, he wasn't ever that violent of a person.  He was more bark than bite."

Sigg is a student at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colo., according to his arrest report, where classmates said he was studying mortuary science.  He took second place in a high school competition involving crime-scene investigations.

"It's not uncommon for people who abduct women to be fascinated by crime and crime detection, whether it be crime-scene investigation or medical examination or autopsy," former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett said.

Authorities are also studying a 2009 YouTube video briefly showing a boy who resembles Sigg wearing a small cross.  It appears similar to the one police say they found at the crime scene in an Arvada, Colo., park, miles from where Ridgeway was abducted.

Ridgeway vanished on Oct. 5 when she left for school.  Her body was found five days later in Arvada.  Sigg lives less than a mile from her home and about a half a mile from her school.

Sigg also lives close to a reservoir where he allegedly attempted to abduct a 22-year-old female jogger on May 28.  Police said a man tried to grab her from behind on a trail around Ketner Lake.  The woman said the man tried to put a rag over her mouth that had a chemical smell.  She was able to get away and call 911.

Authorities said on Tuesday there was a "definitive link" between Ridgeway's case and the attempted abduction of a jogger.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct232012

Police 'Certain' Jessica Ridgeway Case Linked to Attempted Jogger Abduction

The Ridgeway Family(DENVER) -- Authorities hunting for the person who killed and dismembered 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway said Tuesday there is a "definitive link" between her case and the attempted abduction of a jogger in the same area earlier this year.

Police also warned that the killer is "still in the community."

"We are able to make a definitive link," Westminster Police Department spokesman Trevor Materasso told ABC News. "We're certain that there's a connection between the two cases and that's how we're moving forward with the investigation."

On May 28, at around 1:15 p.m., a 22-year-old woman was running on a trail around Ketner Lake when she said a man tried to grab her from behind, police said. The woman said he tried to put a rag over her mouth that had a chemical smell. She was able to get away and call 911.

The suspect was described as a white male, between 5-feet-6 and 5-feet-8 with brown hair and average build.

Jessica Ridgeway vanished five months later on Oct. 5 when she left for school. 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.

After an extensive search of the area, including knocking on doors and FBI road blocks, Jessica's dismembered body was found on Oct. 10 in an Arvada, Colo., park, miles from where she was abducted.

Though the public has been on edge during the hunt for the suspect who killed Ridgeway, investigators are asking the community to be patient, saying that they must be very careful about what they disclose since the killer is on the loose.

"We don't have the perpetrator identified," Materasso said. "He is still in the community and considering the heinous nature of Jessica's case, we have to be even more careful that we're not disclosing information that could hinder our ability to identify or apprehend the suspect."

Authorities announced last week that they were turning their attention to two earlier attempted abductions at Ketner Lake.

Investigators said that they were looking into a possible connection between the cases "due to the time frame and geographic proximity of Jessica's disappearance and the attempted abduction."

Police said they were concerned that a jogger was chased by a man in the same area in July 2010. The suspect described in 2010 was similar to the case from this year, but authorities are not saying that the 2010 case was related to Ridgeway.

"We're still concerned about the 2010 case, but at this time, we're not able to make a definite connection one way or another," Materasso said Tuesday. "We don't make a connection lightly."

He said police are also looking into a case reported in Aurora, Colo., this week where a woman said that a man in a parking lot tried to put a towel over her face while another man in a car asked for directions. She was able to fight the man off and get away.

"The Aurora police department is conducting an investigation in their city and working with our team of law enforcement, but, at this point, there's no way for us to say if there is any connection," Materasso said.

Police are asking that anyone with any information regarding Ridgeway's abduction or the attempted abductions at the lake please contact them at 303-658-4336 or by email at PDamberalert@cityofwestminster.us.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct152012

Jessica Ridgeway Case: Police Look for Suspect in Two Near-Abductions

Courtesy of the Ridgeway family(ARVADA, Colo.) -- Police in Arvada, Colo., are looking for a man suspected of trying to abduct two children a few weeks before 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway's killing to see whether there is a possible connection.

In two reported incidents on Sept. 9 and Sept. 12, Arvada police said an 8- and 9-year-old were nearly abducted, according to police.

"Both of them said they were offered candy to get into the vehicle.  In both incidences, they knew to run and tell an adult," Arvada police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan told ABC News affiliate KMGH-TV.

Ridgeway's body was found on Oct. 10 in an Arvada park, seven miles from her home in Westminster, Colo.

Meanwhile, police in Cody, Wyo., announced that a man suspected in a child abduction case was arrested Sunday in Belgrade, Mont.  Authorities in the Ridgeway case do not believe there is a connection.

With no major breaks in the case, residents in and around Ridgeway's hometown are on edge.  A report that a man in a car tried to kidnap a 13-year-old boy in Jefferson County, Colo., this weekend turned out to be false.

The teen believed a man was trying to lure him into his parked car, so he ran inside his home and alerted his mother, who managed to snap a photo of the suspect in his blue sedan.

When the picture was circulated by police, the 18-year-old man in the car turned himself in and explained that he had been trying to get the boy to knock on the door of his ex-girlfriend's home to get her attention, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Techmeyer told KMGH.

A mug shot of the driver was taken, but he was released after police determined he was not a threat to the community.

"I think everyone reacted just the way they should have, in the light of everything that is going on," Techmeyer said.

With so few clues, authorities have asked the public for help, urging them to be on the lookout for anyone showing behavioral changes.

FBI profilers believe the suspect they are hunting is likely male and might have recently missed work or suddenly left town.  He might have changed his appearance or gotten rid of his car, profilers said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct142012

Jessica Ridgeway: Colorado Community on Edge as Police Hunt For Predator

Image credit: Courtesy of the Ridgeway family(WESTMINSTER, Colo.) -- Residents in the community where 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway was kidnapped, killed and dismembered are on edge while a killer is on the loose.

"We realize there is a predator in our community," said Lee Birk, chief of police in Westminster, Colo.

Those tensions were only heightened on Saturday when police believed a 13-year-old boy had been the victim of an attempted abduction in nearby Golden, Colo., but the incident turned out to be a misunderstanding, police said.

The teen believed a man was trying to lure him into his parked car, so he ran inside his home and alerted his mother, who managed to snap a photo of the suspect in his blue sedan.

When the picture was circulated by police, the 18-year-old man in the car turned himself in and explained that he had been trying to get the boy to knock on the door of his ex-girlfriend's home to get her attention, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Mark Techmeyer told ABC News' Denver affiliate.

A mugshot of the driver was taken, but he was released after police determined he was not a threat to the community.

"I think everyone reacted just the way they should have, in the light of everything that is going on," Techmeyer said.

FBI profilers believe the suspect they are hunting for is likely male and might have recently missed work or suddenly left town. He may have changed his appearance or gotten rid of his car, profilers said.

"We haven't identified an individual, so we're talking and conveying to our community the importance of looking at behavioral changes. Unfortunately, it's somebody's family member, a neighbor, a friend," said Trevor Materasso of the Westminster Police Department.

Jessica was last seen on Oct. 5 when she left for school. 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.

After an extensive search of the area, including knocking on doors and FBI road blocks, Jessica's dismembered body was found on Wednesday in an Arvada, Colo., park, miles from where she was abducted.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Oct142012

Mourners Write Messages on Balloons to Jessica Ridgeway 

Image credit: Courtesy of the Ridgeway family(WESTMINSTER, Colo.) -- A day after police confirmed a dismembered body found in a park Wednesday was missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, her Colorado community came together for a "balloon release" memorial to celebrate her life.

More than 1,000 memorial-goers wore purple (Ridgeway's favorite color) and released purple and green balloons with messages on them at a park in Westminster, Colo. The community also held a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m.

"Hopefully, that will begin some healing for our community," said Kimberly Bowman, the stay-at-home grandmother who planned the memorial even though she never met the little girl or her family. "I've lived here my entire life. This is the first time something like this has ever happened."

Bowman, who also created a Facebook page for Ridgeway that now has 40,000 members, said she would be surprised if fewer than 2,000 people attended the balloon release -- even with the rainy forecast. As she pulled up in her car an hour early, she said she already saw swarms of community members swathed in purple and "tons of balloons."

"I don't see a whole lot of sorrow right now, and I'm sure that will come and go throughout the day," Bowman said. "We really want to make this about Jessica not being in a situation where she's feeling pain."

The balloon release had been planned before Ridgeway was confirmed dead as a way to send wishes for her safe return up to heaven, Bowman said. When Bowman and her team learned of Ridgeway's death, they decided to turn the event into a celebration of her life.

"I think as far as the writing on the balloons, we wanted to make that personal," Bowman said. "I'm sure there will be messages to Jessica on those, and we'll send them off to heaven."

The fifth grader went missing on the morning of Oct. 5, walking to a nearby park where she regularly met her friends for their one-mile walk to school. She never arrived.

Ridgeway's mother, Sarah, reported her daughter missing eight hours later, when she woke up to a call from school saying that Ridgeway was absent that day. Sarah works nights and slept through the call.

Officials found a body Wednesday in Arvada, seven miles from Ridgeway's home, but they were not able to confirm it was Ridgeway's until Friday because it was "not intact," police said.

Stephen Teske, who works with Sarah Ridgeway, created JessicaRidgeway.com to collect donations for the family. Since 7:30 p.m. Friday, it has received more than $10,000.

Teske said he'd only met Jessica a few times.

"I just know how I feel, and I can only imagine they feel 10 times worse," Teske said, adding that the balloon release is the fun event the community needs. "If you knew this kind of area, it's one of those places where things just don't happen."

Investigators searched 500 homes and 1,000 vehicles in the last week, said James Yacone, special agent in charge of the FBI's Denver office. They also received 1,500 tips.

"We recognize there is a predator at large in our community," Westminster, Colo., Police Chief Lee Birk said.

Birk said the search for Ridgeway's murderer will continue.

The FBI released a profile of who they think committed the crime: a man who either didn't show up to work on Oct. 5 or he found an excuse. The report also details the abnormal ways this man would react to news coverage of Ridgeway's disappearance and murder.

"It could be your boss, it could be your friend and, ultimately, it could be your family member," FBI spokesman David Joly said.




 

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Oct122012

FBI Releases Behavioral Profile of Possible Suspect in Ridgeway Case

The Ridgeway Family(WESTMINSTER, Colo.) -- What began as a desperate search in Colorado for 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway has now turned into the hunt for a possible suspect with the release of a behavioral profile of the killer.

Police believe that the body found this week in Arvada, Colo., seven miles from where she disappeared, is Ridgeway's.

The suspect is likely male and might have recently missed work or suddenly left town, according to the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit.  The suspect might have already changed his appearance and gotten rid of his car.

"It could be your boss, it could be your friend and, ultimately, it could be your family member," FBI spokesman David Joly said.

The FBI is asking for the public's help in locating the suspect, who might have been a "no show" and missed work immediately after the incident and offered a plausible excuse such as illness, death in the family or car trouble.

The individual might express an intense interest in the status of the investigation and pay close attention to the media.  But some offenders might quickly turn off media accounts or try to redirect conversations concerning the victims or their families, according to the FBI. Joly said the public should be looking for "abnormal behavior."

Investigators are now focusing on cellphone towers near Ridgeway's Westminster, Colo., home, where her backpack was found and where the remains were discovered in Arvada, Colo.  If a phone number registers at all three towers, it could lead to a suspect.

Hundreds of officers will continue to search fields, ravines and neighborhoods on Friday near the park in Arvada where the body was found Wednesday night.

Police haven't officially tied the crime scene at the Pattridge Park open space to the missing girl.  But investigators have reasons to believe it is the body of the girl who vanished last Friday on her walk to school, stressing that a positive identification will take time, according to three sources.

The condition of the body is delaying identification because it was "not intact," police said Thursday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio