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. thor

    hang him.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. dawn

    I think it's pretty rotten that we have to guard a children like hawks constantly. They should be able to walk down the street without getting killed. I think those days are gone. Granted, most will say there was bad stuff way back when as well, but I don't really buy that it isn't more dangerous now. There are just so vastly many more humans now that the likelihood of running into a bad egg is all the much greater. My husband thinks it's ridiculous that I make him watch our 11 year old when he's at the end of our driveway waiting for the bus, but it's news stories like this that make it necessary. It's only now that I have a gate for him to stand behind and a security camera that he can stand down there alone. I used to roam all over the neighborhood when I was a kid and it was a great life. It's a sad things that our children don't get to have independence in that way. Sad that the parents are going to have to feel such guilt for letting her child do what all the rest of us enjoyed doing for years.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      I had a great life, too, as a kid. We could trick or treat roaming the entire neighborhood. We weren't afraid of our neighbors. I don't know what happened. It seems rude, but when it came to child molesters, things got really tight. The police were working. Some how, someway, someone was listening.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Twenty years ago, I did the same thing, watching where our son was coming and going, and it wasn't because of violence in our neighborhood. As a parent, I need to know where he was going every day, every time. It's not being intrusive. It's being a mom.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Fed Up

    This was a heinous crime and 17 is old enough to be tried as an adult. There seems to be predators everywhere! Living next door, lurking in churches, terrorizing movie theaters and beauty salons, ready to blow up the Federal Reserve. You can't even feel completely safe staying at home any more....sigh....

    October 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jay

    This is sickening. I cannot even begin to fathom this demented person's motivation for killing this girl. I feel horrible for the parents. I am not a parent, but I would be in complete shock if I thought my 4 yr old brother was having a normal day at pre-school only to find out he'd been killed and dumped somewhere by someone who was relatively my neighbor. I hope that this guy goes away for a long time, not just for murdering a child, but for also ruining her parent's lives. I can't even think of how absolutely terrifying her kidnapping was for the parents, and how heartbroken they are to now never fully have her back.

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

    Nothing a ten foot length of rope and a sturdy branch fifteen feet up can't handle.

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

      I am a parent and I can promise you, if that was my daughter, I would kill him, no matter the price. I would get to him and I would kill him.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wisdom4u2

    Don't shoot until you see the whites of his eyes... BANG!!! Case closed.

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

    The death penalty should not be a matter of revenge but of prevention. Those who oppose it no matter what horrors were committed love to proclaim that it is no deterrent. How do they prove that negative unless they have the ability to peek into every mind living on earth?

    October 24, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. pbernasc

    Assuming the accusations are real and this is not another police screw up (this is Colorado state police .. possibly the worst investigative police of the North American continent), this kid clearly is born with evil in him.
    There are a very few person who cannot be helped and he probably is one of them.
    He is too young to not give him a try at learning something, .. but he clearly needs to be locked up for the rest of his life.
    Give him access to some books .. at least he gets to develop some skills, like some art or something. He has to spend possible 60+ in prison ..
    Death sentence is stupid in any case, but in this case would prove him right .. that death and life is just a question of opinion.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Michael

    Awful. Though I do wonder why we bother having laws which differentiate how we prosecute minors versus adults, when jurisdictions regularly discard them (generally, it seems, in response to how horrific the crime in question is).

    October 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. snoogz

    Is that Bam Margera? 🙂

    October 24, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. I wonder

    I wonder if his last name, Sigg, coordinates with the alleged letter "S" on the wooden cross found at the crime scene?

    October 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ma & pa

    DNA info evidence? From where? Not meaning to be crude, but if from 'joystick' that's supposed to be controlled by the person not control the person.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  13. stopabortion

    I believe all this violence is related to videogames, tv, music, movies, etc... I can see this happening more often. Soooo sad.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elva

      is that what you do, stopabortion?

      October 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Chris Rock: "What ever happened to 'crazy'?!

      October 24, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • wlacs

      Just because one idiot decides to go and kill a innocent child doesn't meant that video games or music or even movies are related to this, this happens unforgettably and this is just one stupid human that decides to kill a innocent kid, and you cant tell to a million of people that love and spend the time playing video games that they are going to became a stupid killer.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Forte Knox

      Yes all that and drugs. The pedlars have taken over our lives.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Elva

    Thank God this monster was found! I feel sorry for his mother, I'm sure she did not want to raise such a horrible human being. Rest in peace, baby girl. My condolences, prayer and thoughts go to the Ridgeway family.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jimh77

    Hang this SOB! He does not deserve to have another breath.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
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