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. pat d

    Ericka... CNN stated above that they don't usually give out names of minors arrested BUT that the police gave it readily in the press conference.. and let out his pic. They do it differently out there in CO. You just have to read the story all the way through...

    October 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • GM1953

      They said they released his name and photo in the hope people will recognize him and more witnesses will come forward. They want more evidence

      October 24, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mama mia

    a-c-l-u to comment in 3...2...

    October 24, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. paranoid

    I am so paranoid I worried about the safety of my children and now my grandchildren. One monster can destroy a whole community and a precious child. Death penalty costs too much and this person if found guilty wil keep on appealing forever and still has to be kept alive in the prison system. There should be a special prison where this monster and those who are like him spend their time with no tv, recreation etc.

    October 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DAStover

    Looks like a mugshot for Edward from "Twilight"!

    October 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      I thought he looked like RP, myself.
      BUT this is the face of a REAL monster...

      October 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ladylike56

    Give him a fair trial them hang him...

    October 24, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. kermitthefrogger

    No 17 yo is not a child but a teenager however Trayvon is not the one who committed murder. This Austin Sigg is a monster and committed capital murder and desecrated a child so yes he should be tried as an adult for committing such a heinous crime.

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

    He looks a little like Robert Patterson lol

    October 24, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ma & pa

    Control of 'joystick' and it's counterpart for it's origional intended use by owners of said parts should be taught as part of rules of admission to the family of humanity. This from attacked young, now old, in whom a voice has become strong enough to speak up for and in defense of moral Self-control.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. suzer

    The debate about whether this waste of space should be executed is not productive – by law, he can not be executed because he is a minor – he can be tried as an adult but not executed – unfortunate, but true

    October 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • stunnedbycomments

      I saw nothing in this article about an arrest record....where did you see that?

      October 24, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. suzer

    what is totally unacceptable is that this monster has a long arrest record -- goes to show that rehabilitation does not work – zero tolerance i say – if the three strikes and your out rule was followed, jessica would still be alive.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ma & pa

    Our sympathy goes to both sets of parents. We know of vicious ones who came from wonderful parents and vice-versa. Everyone stands on own true merits.

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

    I used to feel sorry for some juveniles who were given life sentences but not anymore.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sharon Mahart

    "We don't normally release names or mugshots of minors," but in this case, we decided to do so to ensure the court of public opinion could weigh in and read that even the suspect's grandmother is ready to "burn him". So much for innocent until PROVEN guilty. Not knowing a single thing about the evidence, I'm only making my comment in the interest of protecting the rights of Americans against an ever-present rise of tyranny.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dennis

      How about the rights of the victims of today's crimes?

      October 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • jen

      Sharon, darling, the importance of reading comprehension cannot be overemphasized – it was Jessica's great-grandmother who wants him torched. Read before commenting so you don't look stupid.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lilyrosalie

      Sharon, if you read it more closely, you would have seen that that was Jessica's great grandmother, not Siggs. I don't blame her personally. I can't imagine having something like that happening to one of my kids. It is absolutely horrible.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • YoungMarine

      They found some of her body parts in his crawl space

      October 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kristy

      dear Sharon, if this is your kids we can talk about "innocenct untill PROVEN guilty". For now he should be burnt for Jessica's death.

      October 24, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Spinner

    I am with Ms. Moss – burn him.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TJ

    Please keep in mind that for every Jessica Ridgeway who is abducted an killed by a stranger at least 16 children are killed by a family member (primarily parents) through abuse and neglect. That's why this story is actually news and the others aren't.

    October 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
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