crimesider

Jessica Ridgeway: FBI searches Colorado home of missing 10-year-old girl for clues

This image provided by the Westminster Colorado Police Department shows Jessica Ridgeway. Authorities looking for the 10-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared days ago after leaving for school are planning to finish scouring open fields and resume searching the fifth-grader's suburban Denver neighborhood on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department) Uncredited

Jessica Ridgeway
AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department

(CBS/AP) DENVER -- FBI investigators scoured through a suburban Denver home for clues Tuesday in the continuing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. She disappeared five days ago on her way to school.

Pictures: Ten-year-old Colorado girl missing

Denver media reported that an FBI evidence team arrived at the girl's home after family members left to record for a TV interview Tuesday. FBI spokesman Dave Joly confirmed that some team members were at the home but declined to elaborate.

Police spokesman Trevor Materasso implied that investigators were focusing attention on a possible abduction but refused to comment on what techniques police were using as they try to find her.

Meanwhile, Westminster police released more photos of Jessica along with a short home video, saying it would help the public learn her mannerisms and the sound of her voice.

Authorities asked the public to note the fifth-grader's distinguishing characteristics, such as a small gap between her front teeth and a sore on her nose below where her eyeglasses sit, adding that she might not be wearing glasses.

Jessica was last seen Friday morning as she left home to meet friends at a park so they could walk to school. Police said she never met up with her friends or reached the campus.

Authorities got a late start searching for her because her mother works nights and slept through a call Friday from school officials after Jessica didn't arrive for classes.

More than 800 volunteers searched for clues of the missing girl on Saturday, and more than 400 leads have been called in to a tip line. Hundreds of community members pointed flashlights to the sky at two vigils for Jessica on Tuesday evening.

Searchers also scoured open areas near where her backpack was found Sunday on a sidewalk in a neighborhood about six miles north of her home. Police had it analyzed at the state crime lab after taking DNA samples from her family.

Jessica's mother, Sarah Ridgeway, said in a TV interview that her home is too quiet without Jessica.

"I want her to come walking back through that door," she said. "I need her to come walking back through that door."

Her father, Jeremiah Bryant, pleaded for his daughter's safe return.

"I just want to find my daughter. I just want her back home," he told KUSA. "It's by far the worst thing I've ever been through. Still is."

Bryant was recently living with his grandmother Donna Moss in Independence, Mo. Moss said she last saw Jessica about six weeks ago when Jessica and her mother came through the Kansas City area on their way home from a vacation.

According to court records, Bryant was ordered to pay Sarah Ridgeway $267 per month in child support in 2005. Moss, a retired nurse, said the families have always been on good terms, and she saw Jessica about once a year.

"There has never been a custody issue with Jessica, and we've had a good ," she said. "Whenever they go on vacation or whenever we can afford to go to Colorado or he can afford to go to Colorado without me, we get together and it's not a hostile environment of any kind. No way, shape or form."

Court records also show Bryant was sentenced this summer to supervised probation in a domestic assault case in Missouri. Information on the alleged victim wasn't immediately available.

Police searched Moss' home Friday after telling her Jessica was missing.

"I said I'm sure I don't have any problem with you going through my house. We don't have Jessica and for God's sake if we don't have her and her mom doesn't have her please do everything you can to find her," Moss said.

Moss said police later told Bryant that Jessica was missing "and he absolutely came apart."

"It was like, `My God, who would have my kid?' It does something to your head. It does something to your head or your heart or something," Moss said

Moss said that even though Jessica came from a broken relationship, "it wasn't a relationship that was ever ugly."

"It was a relationship that they were too young," Moss said.

She and Bryant's mother planned to head to Colorado on Tuesday and join Bryant. A prayer vigil is planned Wednesday evening at an Independence park, Moss said.

More coverage of Jessica Ridgeway on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments

Follow Us