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. IvyLeagueMamaLlama

    It is disturbing that teenage boys have been arrested twice in two days (in NJ and CO) for the murder of young girls. I hope this is not an indication that today's kids care less about others. I think that's not likely, but just to be sure, let's all devote extra time to making a connection with our kids today–asking about what's going on with them, sharing what's going on with us, letting them know they are important and we care about them more than we do about anything else.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. relmfoxdale

    So you normally don't post information about juveniles, but you do for adults? Could you maybe not post that information at all, for anyone? Ideally until they're found guilty but at least until they're charged? The media just loves to run roughshod over people's lives, all in the name of a "story."

    October 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. bOpmainjr

    I hope they have some real evidence on this kid b4 they bring closure to the case. Evidence prior to arrest weak so far, Home search may bring clues?????

    October 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bebe

    This poor girl.. What a senseless murder. I can't help but notice that her last name is Ridgeway...same as serial killer Gary Ridgeway of Washington state. Unrelated but just a coincidence. It's too early I guess in the case to give any details like the why and how. Frightening for any parent to let their child out of site for fear that someone like this is going to cause harm or kill them.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Shawn

    Her body ,I believe was found in Arvada,CO. I was raised in that town and my heart sank regarding this little girl. I am so sorry to her parents and her whole family. I send prayers and hugs for the loss of a child ,their child . Blessings ~~S~~

    October 24, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wendy

    her mom should be feelin every bit of guilty...she could have slept later...she should have known better than 2 let that child out of the house alone...i mean really, what's another 15 min...crazy ppl in this world

    October 24, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    harish tekchandani, you are a fool. The amazing thing to me is that you seem to actually think you know something, but you're an ignoramous, not to mention stupid.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. wendy

    i guess its just ok when parents don't watch their kids...i think charges should be filed against her for sleeping while her 10 yr old was walking a mile 2 school...she's not old enough 2 be doing that

    October 24, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      I think you should get off your high horse and not blame her poor mother.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • stacie

      Wendy, you're an idiot to put ANY blame on her mother. I cannot even fathom what she is going through. Shame on you.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      My siblings and I were able to walk to the bus stop every day. We had friendly neighbors. Nothing like this. Things like this didn't happen in our neighborhood.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • gager

      I walked 2.5 miles to school everyday when I was ten as did thousands of kids. We were all safe because it was an age when we did not rely on the government for protection.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      And my friends and I were safe when we walked home from school. It was a couple of miles. There was a stand on the way home that had ice cream. Get a cone, walk all the way home. It's a different time.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill in Colorado Springs

      I was much younger than Jessica, when my brother and had to walk just over a mile to school for 4th, 5th, and 6th grades.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      The decision about how far a child should be expected to walk to school rests with the school district.

      From District 11 transportation page:
      The State of Colorado does not require school districts to furnish transportation. However, like many districts, D-11 provides transportation services in the interest of student safety. The established non-transported areas generally fall into the following radii from schools (Board Policy EEAA):
      Elementary 1.25 to 1.5 miles
      Middle 1.5 to 2.0 miles
      High 2.0 to 2.5 miles

      October 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      I walked to school at ten. Ten is not too young to walk to school. This mother does not deserve your judgment.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • 13directors

      For God sake, Wendy, her mother was sleeping after working the graveyard shift. Just because society thinks moms are super human doesn't mean we are. Furthermore, you don't think her poor mom is going to be beating herself up for the rest of her life? Geez, show some class.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jason

    It's frightening that your votes counts equally with mine.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. malibu123

    Try, convict, and sentence him to death. Take a boat out about 10 miles to sea, give him a concrete life vest and throw him overboard. Case closed.

    October 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Sting him up by his feet and gut him like the pig that he is. Don't waste boat fuel on this trash.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thankful

      His ultimate punishment will be far worse. How sad to know you have a one way ticket to hell at 17 years of age...

      October 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Thankful: The ONLY punishment that will be exacted on him is what his fellow humans choose.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. malsings07

    A lot seems to be happening in Colorado what gets me is that people always think that this couldn't happen in their tight knit community WAKE UP PEOPLE! it doesn't matter how nice the area is or how safe you think it is. We live in a world full of killers, child molesters and murderers. I think they need an alert to tell parents don't let your children walk to school by themselves or ride their bikes these are the same people you trust that kill our children. RIP Jessica.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • PLR TEE

      NO WAY WILL WE LIVE IN FEAR BECAUSE OF EVIL PEOPLE! WE DONT NEED TO LOCK THE KIDS UP AND TAKE THERE CHILDHOODS AWAY HOW ABOUT WE AS A COMMUNITY START KEEPING A BETTER EYE OUT? THAT IS WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. I WATCH THE KIDS IN OUR HOOD PLAY AND IF I SEE SOMEONE I COME OUT, I HAVE ASKED PEOPLE IF THEY NEED SOMETHING ASK THEM WHY ARE YOU PARKED HERE ASK QUESTIONS KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS , AND WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND WHO THE WIERDO WALKING HIS DOHG IS WATCH FOR PEOPLE GAWKING AT YOUR CHILD OR OTHERS CHILDREN. 6 YEARS AGO WAS THE LAST TIME I CALLED POLICE IT WAS BECAUSE THERE WAS THIS WEIRD MAN WATCHING MY AT THE TIME 3 YEAROLD DAUGHTER IN THE MCDONALDS PLAYLAND NEAR FEDS AN FLORIDA HE WAS SO CREEPY I LITERALLY GOT CHILLS AS I GRABBED MY DAUGHTER I LOOKED AT HIM AND SAID DO U HAVE CHILDREN IN HERE, HE SAID NO BUT ILL TAKE YOURS AND GAVE THIS SMILE. I WALKED OUT THEN CALLED THE POLICE LATER THAT EVENING I GET A CALL FROM DOWNTOWN POLICE DEPT THE OFFICER WANTED TO TELL ME I DID THE RIGHT THING THIS MAN HAD A WARRANT FROM 5 YEARS AGO FOR MOLESTING HIS GRANDCHILDREN. FINALLY, THOSE LIL GIRLS COULD SLEEP KNOWING HE HAD BEEN ARRESTED! NE TIME A CHILD IS INVOLVED I AM ADVOCATING THEM AT 100% ~TEE

      October 25, 2012 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  12. NorCalMojo

    It's hard to believe a 17 year old could be that bold and calculating.

    If it is him, I hope they throw away the key.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      He is; he attempted it in May.
      It looks as if they caught a budding serial killer.

      My condolences once again to the family of poor Jessica.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      It's hard for me to believe his parents didn't know. A seventeen year old almost always doesn't have a car or an arrest record. He should not have had the means to do these things. Who turned him in? His parents, or the police that knew better?

      October 24, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Erika

    Why are they posting a MINOR'S picture and telling his name? Apparently INNOCENT until proven guilty, especially for juveniles is not the law of the media. This kid won't get a fair trial anywhere, now!

    October 24, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grumpymedic

      Because he's being tried as an ADULT. All privacies are off when it comes to adult trial.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shalisa

      He was charged as an adult.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • huh?

      name and pic posted to help investigation. how does that violate the principle of innocent until proven guilty? he is the prime suspect, will face trial, and be proven guilty if evidence proves. stop drinking the aclu cool-aid.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  14. waste him

    kill him now.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Ummmm... wouldn't it be a better service to society, including the victim's family, if all steps were taken to ensure that the actual killer is the individual in custody?

      October 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Or put him in the same cell as that of the Aurora Theater Shooter. Let them both fight until death.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      Kill him now? What if it turns out they got the wrong guy? I thought that was why we had a justice system. Let him have his day in court.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. karina

    maybe he will do everyone a favor and hang himself in the jail cell, like a another recent child murderer did up in Canton GA. These sickos cannot be rehabilitated and the parents should be spared the horror of the details if this monster goes to trial.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      It's a really complicated thing to think about (for me anyway). On the one hand, if I were the mother of this girl I would not want to hear exactly how and why she was killed, but at the same time if I never knew then it would bother me for the rest of my life. I don't even know this girl and I don't even know whether or not I want to know the details; this is just absolutely horrible.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17