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. bob

    Let's get one thing straight, the police didn't do jack sh** here. They failed to protect Jessica, and they didn't do anything to solve the case. His mom turned him in. The police didn't track him down the mom turned him in. These clowns couldn't find a needle in a stack of needles.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      It wasn't the polices job to protect Jessica. How do you know the police didn't do anything to solve the case? ......and that they didn't track him down?....Did the kids' mom deliver him to the police station? How do you know any of this? I don't see it in the above story.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • DeeJ

      I suppose you think the police should know in advance who might be abducted, killed, molested? You don't know anything about how they handled this case. i'm tired of people like you who criticize police officiers who face the threat of death on a daily basis just to protect your pitiful life. They are subjected to witnessing unspeakable horrors when they have to investigate crimes such as this and seldom receive the thanks they deserve.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kacee

    I cringe every time I see a child walking ANYWHERE alone. I have two children and I would never let them be on these mean, dangerous streets for one second without me being nearby. We've gotta stop letting our kids out of the house without adult supervision. I'm sorry for the heart breaks for them, especially knowing that thier loss could have been prevented. Come on parents....let's not let our kids walk alone.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • mandfkiwsa

      I am also sorry for you. It is important to protect our children, but feeling paranoid and endangered every time you walk on the street says as much about you as any theoretical danger. Most of our streets are relatively safe.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leigh

      Someone always blaming the parent – this is what is horrible. In our neighborhood, middle school children walk in twos and threes to the bus stop a block away. If one of them is dragged into a car by some freak, is it a parent's fault? The streets are no meaner than they were decades ago – your child still has a better chance of being killed in a car accident or by choking than by a teenage boy. This nonsense about not letting children be children has to stop. You can have that false sense of security all you want, thinking bad things can't happen to you, but maybe you should wake up.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  3. lbpaulina

    Why? Why a teenager would ever do what he did (if he is really guilty)?
    I do not know, I'm confused and sad. We see more and more teens committing heinous crimes, what's wrong in our society? Some of you is talking about death penalty, but I do not think it is the right remedy.
    Are we producing monsters?
    Angels are falling down, and we do not know what to do.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Person

      Parenting aside, some people are just born sociopaths. They feel no remorse for their actions and don't have the capacity to live and interact with other humans in a "normal" way. For the greater good of society, these people need to be removed from the gene pool.

      Normally, I'm for giving people 2nd chances, but if he's capable of killing someone the way Jessica Ridgeway was murdered then the only thing he deserves is death if found guilty.

      RIP Jessica.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gretchen Freas

    What did his mother teach him??

    October 24, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      It's most likely she taught him that such things are wrong.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. aTorres

    Good, I am glad they got him locked up, somebody like this doesn't deserve to breath the same air everyone else does. Sorry but I am angry because what he did to a helpless little child. A MONSTER. R.I.P. Jessica, justice has been served. We Love you here in Colorado...

    October 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Josh

    You can see the emptiness that's in this kid's soul. I don't know why I find his mugshot so chilling.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MSSG

    We need to seriously take a good look at this counrty justice system. People keep doing these awful things because they know if they get caught there just going to set in a warm ceil with food and tv. Then we the people have to set here and pay for these awful people to live. I say we bring back the eletric chair and start making examples out of these messed up people.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      Since you apparently want this for its deterrent value, you should know that it has absolutely none. You can look at the crime rates in any number of states that either had the death penalty and abolished it, or didn't have it and enacted it; there is no correlation between severity of punishment and the incidence rate of such crimes.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Swiftjustice

    I hope if found guilty they just hang this piece of trash by his neck until he is dead. He doesn't deserve shelter, fresh water and 3 meals a day. Nor should you and I have to pay for him to be kept alive.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • SixDegrees

      But it's OK to force them to pay for years, quite possibly decades worth of appeals?

      October 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
  9. VegasRage

    Good God, I don't get it, when I was 17 I was abusing drugs pretty bad and even in my most screwed up thoughts this was a no brainer no no.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AgonyF

    DNA Taken From 500 People

    Westminster Police confirmed that DNA samples were collected from about 500 people during the investigation.
    Everyone who submitted DNA samples in the case did so voluntarily, said Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso. Samples were collected orally, using a DNA swab.

    Materasso said people were asked to provide a DNA sample if they used their cell phones near the three crime scene areas.

    Others were asked for a sample if they were identified based on tips from the public or by police officers during neighborhood searches.

    Although Materasso confirmed the samples were collected, he didn't discuss how the samples would be used in the investigation.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • ron paul

      just because he is arrested does'nt mean he is guilty.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Swiftjustice

    I hope if found guilty they hang this piece of trash by his neck until he is dead. He does not deserve shelter, 3 meals a day and fresh water. Nor should we be forced to pay to keep him alive!

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

      I think that punishment for this type of crime should be harsher than hanging. We should bring back something that would be more of a deterant such as flaying, which is when the skin of the criminal is removed from their body with the use of a very sharp knife. It's very painful and would make any would-be murderer think twice before comitting his crime.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  12. bradbigglestein

    Thankfully this guy is off the streets. I am 100% sure he was a serial killer in the making.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • dance4fun1

      Even worse, he was thriving at a community college and had even won an award for crime scene investigation during a study conducted during a criminology class he was taking. People forget that even though he is 17, you can graduate high school early and enter college as a freshman......many "kids" do. Yet he was getting by great, and not only had an interest in criminology but hoped to one day become a MORTICIAN......which means, yes, he was working his way into society to become some productive member of it and hide within the normalcy. Thank God he couldnt resist his impulses until that day came. I see posts about how he is a kid and living at home probably forced to take meds, etc, but he was a college student doing well and playing the game just as many sick people do. Im sure his mother wouldnt have noticed a thing wrong with a son in college doing wonderful yet with freaky interests he wished to learn while there (the mortician thing just makes me sick due to the crime committed), yet despite turning him in, she is also getting the blame for his crap. Not even a mother can know a child if they are psychopathic that badly. Not at that age, doing just fine in hopes of working his way into society and then acting out his dismembering fantasies along with learning all he could about criminology type classes even during this first semester. So even if you were being sarcastic, I think it is correct, a serial killer in the making that would have been in hiding among normal citizens working at a funeral home which wouldnt have been very pretty. That was his goal. They need a facade.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sadday

    James Holmes found a friend!

    October 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. mikeh6280

    Send this guy to hell where he need to be. No point on keeping this guy alive but they will. Sad that this guy can take a life in a matter of mins and he stays alive either life in jail. Or if he get death he will stay on it for 20 plus years.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cindy

    She is a girl. Move on. God's will per the Republicans.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • rjo3491

      good point. she'll never have an abortion. that said this is very sad, I wish her family peace.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • liz

      You must be extremely uneducated and uninformed to write such an absurdity.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
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