Student, 17, arrested in Jessica Ridgeway killing
Austin Reed Sigg, 17, was arrested this morning.
October 24th, 2012
06:50 PM ET

Student, 17, arrested in Jessica Ridgeway killing

Editor's note: A 17-year-old student was arrested Tuesday evening in this month's killing of 10-year-old Denver-area girl Jessica Ridgeway, according to police in Westminster, Colorado.

Austin R. Sigg, who lived not far from Ridgeway, will be charged as an adult in her death and in a separate, attempted abduction in May, authorities say.

[Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET] One of Ridgeway's great-grandmothers, Donna Moss of Independence, Missouri, told CNN affiliate KSHB that she wouldn't be able to look in the suspect's face "and not be judgmental."

"It's all I've got within me to not want to just burn him. And I mean burn him," Moss told KSHB on Wednesday.

"For me, my steps have to be one step at a time to forgiveness," Moss said. "Because yes, I am really angry."

[Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET] The student arrested in Ridgeway's death, 17-year-old Austin R. Sigg, will be tried as an adult, Jefferson County District Attorney Pam Russell said Wednesday.

Charges probably will be filed on Monday, Russell said. Authorities said earlier that Sigg, who was arrested Tuesday night, will face murder and kidnapping charges in death of Ridgeway, who is from Westminster in the Denver area. Sigg also will be charged with attempted kidnapping and attempted murder charges regarding allegations that he tried to abduct someone else on May 28 at Ketner Lake in Westminster.

Sigg and Ridgeway lived about one mile apart, on opposite sides of Ketner Lake, CNN affiliate KMGH reported.

Ridgeway, also from Westminster, was last seen alive by her mother as the girl left for school October 5. A body was found days later at a park just five miles from Westminster, and police identified it as Ridgeway's on October 12.

Hundreds of volunteers had searched fields and streets, posted fliers and canvassed neighborhoods since news broke of the girl's disappearance. Hundreds of local, state and federal law enforcement officers also worked the case.

Earlier Wednesday, police had said Sigg was arrested on Wednesday. They later corrected themselves, saying he'd actually been apprehended Tuesday evening.

[Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET] We can now report that the 17-year-old suspect is Austin Reed Sigg.

While CNN does not normally show the booking photo or name suspects who are juveniles, police mentioned Sigg's name and released his photograph in hopes the public could provide information related to the case.

Jessica Ridgeway, 10, was last seen by her mother.

[Updated at 2:14 p.m. ET] Jessica Ridgeway's family was told this morning that an arrest was made in the 10-year-old's death, police said.

"We hope and pray that this arrest gives them some measure of closure in dealing with this horrible loss and tragedy they have suffered,"  Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk told reporters.

Charges will officially be filed in the next couple of days, officials said.

The 17-year-old suspect was arrested on preliminary charges including two counts of first-degree murder and one count of kidnapping in the Ridgeway case. He also faces a charge of attempted murder and attempted abduction related to a May 28 kidnapping attempt near Ketner Lake.

A warrant is currently being served on the suspect's home.

The  suspect will have his first court appearance Thursday at 8 a.m.

[Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET] A 17-year-old student has been arrested in the murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, according to a Westminster, Colorado, police report.

The report says the student is charged with first degree murder and second degree kidnapping.

CNN is not naming the suspect or showing his mugshot until we can determine whether he is being charged as an adult or a juvenile.

[Posted at 1:32 p.m. ET] Police in Westminster, Colorado, arrested someone today in connection with the Jessica Ridgeway murder case.

Jessica, 10, was last seen by her mother as she left for school October 5. Her body was found last week at a park in Arvada, a Denver suburb five miles from Westminster.

"Late Tuesday evening police received a call that led them to a home near the Ketner Lake Open Space," police said in a press release.

That visit allowed police to make an arrest in the Ridgeway case, as well as another case, an attempted abduction near Ketner Lake.

That's all we know right now. Police will have a news conference at 2 p.m. ET. We'll be sure to update you as soon as we have more information.

soundoff (530 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Crimes against children are reprehensible.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • KNguyen

      But what do you say when the person who killed her is a child himself?

      October 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • fekt

      17 is not a child. 16 is not a child. 15 is not a child. mankind understood this for thousands of years. the lack of any right of passage into adulthood and an expectation of contributing to the good of the group is a failing of the last 100 to 150 years or so. We're raising overgrown coddled children with no concept of responsibilty. 200 years ago 15 meant going to war for your country or helping out the family in the fields It meant helping out the community or being ran out of the community. Now what does it mean.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      17 is a child. I'm so tired of you NASCAR watching dullards. Go to school, take a class or two. Read. Get educated.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • ES71

      > But what do you say when the person who killed her is a child himself?

      I would say 16+ is no longer a child. Even 14 y.o. is already not a child but a young adult. i think we keep our children in school too long, free of responsibility. School should be until 16 and after that either go to college ir find a job. Keeping 17 and 18 y.o. in school and treating them as children is not right.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      I so hope you are old and ready to die.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • bczu

      17 is not a child. A child is 0-12 maybe 13 to 14. 17 years old you know right from wrong.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      studies say otherwise.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. IvyLeagueMamaLlama

    This is wonderfully quick policework. I hope they have their man.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dike

    For justice this man should be tied and left in a room with the girls father for an hour.

    October 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cyberdazed


      October 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Soni

      Double Amen!!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nautilus

      I wouldn't need an hour if I was the father of that girl. Locked in a room with this guy 15 min tops, just enough time for him to feel the pain and remember what he did that is bringing this pain upon him. Tell him to take one final breath and then over.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • AirborneInfantry

      If found guilty, I would need more than an properly torture this individual. He would understand a brand new meaning of the word pain. After I'm done, I would let him live and then at any given time in the future, I would torture him again. Each time being more horrific than the last. I would do this until either, I die of old age, he dies of old age, or commits suicide. This method would save the taxpayers money because if found guilty, I'm sure he'll get life in prison; since you can't condem a minor to the death penalty.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      Not a one of you would have the stomach for it. Big talkers. Little doers.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    This man should receive a speedy trial and, if found guilty, should be put to a grusome death. Never mind putting him down the humane way that we would a sick pet (i.e,. cat or dog). The only just punishment would be one in which he suffers greatly.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • muir

      He is 17. No death penalty.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Even at 17 he can get death if tried as an adult it does not matter.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Garbage

      If they try him as an adult he can get the death penalty...and it's not that difficult to achieve in Colorado.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      Putting him to death would solve nothing. It would not bring the little girl back, and despite what you may think, it would not make anyone feel better. Prison for life.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in Colorado Springs

      You really need to learn
      about you're talking about before shooting your mouth off. Yes, here in Colorado, we have the death penalty, and we absolutely can apply it to a 17-year old offender who is convicted of aggravated murder.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. muir

    Kill him and save the public's time and money.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DeeDee

    A 17 year old? Wow, I just don't understand why so many kids are murderers these days. They're just as dangerous as adults now. Reminds me of the other little girl that was murdered for her bike by two teen brothers a couple days ago.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      It's crazy. There is research that says adolescence is the time when even normal people behave almost like sociopaths. I guess in this kid's case he just started to show his true colors.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Johnny

    The Denver Post has his name and picture posted.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. sayer

    RIP, Jennifer.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Magic Jew


      October 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • no

      RIP, intelligence.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      @no. Amen.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. MJ

    My heart felt sympathy to the family, but when will people learn to stop letting their children go to school by themselves. There are true predators out there waiting for the chance to do this sort of thing. Protect your children!!!

    October 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • KJM

      I totally agree! I dont let my son out of my sight... and I teach him what to do in an emergency. We go over it every day. Some people tell me its silly because he is only five. But the way I see it, I want him to be prepared for the worst. He knows not to take candy or toys from strangers and to never ever get in someones car. He also knows our address and phone number. I tought him to kick, scream, and run. Then call 911 or find a person of authority. Plus, I keep his ID in his backpack and I write his name, my name and my phone number inside the tags of his clothes. LOL I'm a little over protective, yes. But it scares the crap out of me just the thought of someone taking him.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • JB

      I agree to a point, but 10 years old should be old enough to walk a few blocks.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  10. mklsgl

    There is a story yet to be told, which I presume anyone with a conscience would want to hear. How did law enforcement and the Arvada/Westminster community catch this alleged perpetrator? Does the alleged have a juvenile (sealed) record? Is there anything that we, as parents and/or responsible members of society, can learn from this?

    October 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • sweetkissesx

      Someone called the PD and led them straight to his home.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Doug

    Hey kid you just wait until you see what the god and the devil has planned for you.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      God has forgiveness planned for him. God is infinite Love.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • 20011 Eyes

      harish-God has rules that all must live by. No one can murder and expect to be sitting at the right hand of God when they die. In the end, you must account for your sins. Heaven, purgatory or hell: we all have a choice to make while on earth.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • cocopuf

      I wonder if this 17 year-old is a pedophile?

      October 25, 2012 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. dublinretort

    kids are messed up thesedays gld this freak is is facing just

    October 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cutedog2

    First degree murder by a 17 year old is an adult crime. It requires plotting out and manipulation in order to make it successful, sort of like a trial attorney.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Yo Mammy

    This world....I'm tellin' ya....

    October 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lady C

    What's wrong with these teen age boys?? It was 15 and 17 year old brothers that killed Autumn in NJ this weekend. Thankfully their mother turned them in.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
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