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Murder of Jessica Ridgeway, 10, linked to previous Colo. abduction try, police say

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)
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Jessica Ridgeway
AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department

(CBS/AP) WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Police say the abduction and killing of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway is connected to the attempted kidnapping of a young woman in Westminster, Colo., earlier this year.

Pictures: Body of 10-year-old Colo. girl found

Westminster police say they're looking for a suspect in connection with both cases who they describe as "a light-skinned man" between 18 and his mid-30s, of average height and build.

CBS Denver reports that over Memorial Day weekend, a man grabbed the young woman from behind as she was jogging and placed a rag over her mouth that had a chemical smell. She escaped. The attempted kidnapping occurred at a lake less than half a mile from Ridgeway's home.

Jessica Ridgeway went missing as she walked to school on the morning of Oct. 5. Her body was found Oct. 10 along a remote road.

Investigators are looking into a cluster of hair found near where the 10-year-old's remains were discovered, reports CBS Denver. Police say someone walking in the area alerted them to the possible evidence. Police are working to confirm if the hair is human.

The station also reports that police think a tiny wooden cross that was found during their investigation is an important piece of evidence. The cross is about 1 1/2 inches tall and 1 inch wide and made entirely out of wood. There is a hold drilled in the upper part of the cross making it look like it was worn as a necklace. On the horizontal part there are three vertical bars and zig-zags on the opposite side.

Investigators are looking for someone who might wear or carry that type of cross or a business that sells them. Police are not saying exactly when or where the cross was found, just that it was found at a crime scene.

Complete coverage of Jessica Ridgeway on Crimesider