crimesider

Jessica Ridgeway Search: Authorities shift focus to tracking down apparent kidnapper

Jessica Ridgeway Westminster Police

Jessica Ridgeway
Westminster Police
(CBS/AP) WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Authorities have shifted their focus from searching for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway to appealing for help in tracking down her apparent kidnapper.

Pictures: Ten-year-old Colorado girl missing

Police on Friday expect to positively identify a body found in a park seven miles from where the 10-year-old went missing Oct. 5. Police have not linked the body to Jessica or even revealed if it belongs to a child. The body found at Pattridge Park in Arvada was "not intact," which had delayed identification, police said.

Notably missing Thursday were more appeals by authorities to spread word of Jessica's disappearance via social media. Instead, the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit released a list of changes that a person committing a crime against a child would exhibit. Among them: sudden differences in appearance, missed appointments, being absent from work, or leaving town with no explanation.

"It could be your boss, it could be your friend, and ultimately it could be your family member," FBI spokesman Dave Joly said. "Bring this information to law enforcement and let us vet that to a close. If that person is not the suspect, 'Thank you for your call.' Next lead."

Joly said agents are searching for a man, based on statistics for this type of crime.

Police have ruled out Jessica's parents, Sarah Ridgeway and Jeremiah Bryant, as suspects.

Jessica's mother last saw her daughter walking to a park in Westminster to meet friends to walk to school. The girl never arrived at school, setting off a frantic search by hundreds of law enforcement officials and residents.

The only real clue police have revealed in Jessica's disappearance is the discovery over the weekend of a backpack and water bottle she had with her when she disappeared. Police won't discuss what was found in the bag or test results on it. The items were found six miles away from her home.

More coverage of Jessica Ridgeway on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

Comments