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. Portland tony

    Even if the jerk is charged, the people of Colorado will pass judgment on him. Not a bunch of stay at home commenters who want to Lynch the dude before a trial even begins . If you want instant "justice", join the Taliban!

    October 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      NO ONE said he should be lynched before the trial begins. I guess you must be one of those blood-sucking lawyers, paid by tax money, who is drooling over this case so that you can drag it on (and milk it on) forever just so you can pay for your Jaguar and country club membership.

      October 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • DickPerry

      Didn't you just pass a judgment on him when you called him a "jerk"? 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      @dp.....Even a jerk gets a day in court! 🙂

      October 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
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    October 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • lantenec

      You know, you might, I'm not sure you might want to look into this; you might have WAY too much freakin' free time on your hands.......

      October 24, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mary

    At some point we have to ask ourselves why are these crimes being committed by kids. Is it in our water? Is it in our food? Or is it in the meds? Since the 90's the crime rate among teens has gone up and in mass shooting sprees. Hence, the ever popular SSRI's Rather than hanging these people without a second thought as to the 'whys' is only perpetuating this madness.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • sarahw

      No Dads. Neglect/abuse. Working moms who can't handle the behaviour problems.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Just Me

      NoGODNoPeace

      KnowGODKnowPeace

      Remove God from our homes, schools, society, and nation, this will keep happening.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Browning

      Mary, its all three, plus add lack of sufficient parental oversight (some of these parents themselves lack parental oversight). Anyway. Yes we need to root out the cause. But also yes, we need to keep hanging these creeps as fast as our society produces them. We have not the money to waste anymore on a incarcination-industrial complex that now has its own self-interest in persisting. Besides that, I dont care what their excuse is – these monsters (call em little monsters if you want to) shouldn't be breathing air and taking up space. While were at it, if the offender is a minor, then arrest the parents.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kendra

      Children killing children isn't a new phenomena that started in the 90's. These problems have always existed. More population=more crime, even amongst kids. Sick but true.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      @ All, The Antidepressants made popular in the 90's IS indeed, the root cause, as I see it.
      @ Roger Browning, I would have to agree with you on the lack of parental supervision and stuffing meds in their kids face as a pacifier.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Browning

      Kendra – There's always been kids that do bad things yes. But I think we're talking about the brazen, attrocious attacks by minors that have only happened since the 90's maybe. Remember Columbine? How about the Washington DC shooter ? on and on. These things are propagating. Maybe it is the meds, GMO's, Cell phone microwave radiation, all the mindless violence and lack of basic manners at the most fundemental level of communication – who knows. Whatever. Execute them all – all the same.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger Browning

      Mary – When I was a kid, there were lots and lots of us with all kinds of problems and behavior issues. For the most part, and for better or worse, as far as I can tell, everybody appeared to deal with it and move on. Now days, they want to throw some quick label at it and cram some pills down your throat. Here you have A.D.D? (Say what??) then take 3 of these everyday – Oh you have been diagnost bi-polar? take this and that. Austistic?, here's your prescription, Depressed? DEPRESSED???...take drugs???? It's sickening...so now I need some drugs! I'm not trying to belittle serious health issues. I just think its ridicules how the pharmicutical industry has taken over the AMA, and nobody sees the conflict of (our) interest.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sassafrassa

    Wow. A 17 year old, huh? I wonder what the caller said to lead police to him.

    October 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      According to the Denver Post and other Denver media outlets, his mother turned him in.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ashley Sterlington

    Is it an infringement of a person's rights to have their personal data in the custody report published by the news?
    (The Denver Post published his custody report)

    October 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • in the city

      Booking reports are PUBLIC record. Most large departments have them available online.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • njreb1863

      I'd say the rights of the little girl he BUTCHERED have been viloated and this animal has NO rights now.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • nobaddays68

      I thought the same thing!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Daniel

    If he is found guilty, please kill him now and save food for less fortunate.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • OilPrincess

      nah. let him go to prison in general population... child abusers and child murderers are the lowest of the low, and are treated as such. he'll wish that he'd taken his own life instead of Jessica's.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anne

    There is nothing in the water, food, or meds that makes anyone do anything.

    But we should still be asking what in our society encourages kids ( or anyone for that matter ) to commit horrific crimes. Is it because we are teaching our kids that there are no consequences for bad behavior, that we are teaching them that they are not responsible or accountable for anything they do? Is it a lack of discipline at home and in the classroom? Are television and other media significant influences? What it is, really??

    When I was growing up, and when my kids were growing up, there was no doubt whatsoever that there were significant consequences for bad behavior, that we are responsible for the consequences of our own actions.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. PHNeil

    As a mother of a young daughter, my heart aches for a family destroyed by a parent's worst nightmare. It is impossible for a rational mind to fathom how one human being could harm something so innocent; so pure; so helpless. If this sick individual did do this and is convicted, then I firmly believe one capable of this depravity cannot be repaired. People like this should be offere dup for pharmaceutical testing-let's spare the mice and monkeys when there's empty human shells such as this in the world.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hunter

      totally agree!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Just Me

    As for the family of this child, my prayers for them.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Be

    Bad reporting and editing CNN! THIS ALL HAPPENED IN NEW JERSEY, DUMMIES!

    October 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troll la di da

      Two different cases, you dolt!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Read the news, there are two different cases, one in Colorado and one in New Jersey.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • T

      this isnt the new jersey case...merp

      October 24, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Troll la di da

    Just Me is a troll who somehow thinks typing in all caps makes him look more intelligent. It doesn't. It just means he's too stupid to figure out that his capslock is on.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lala

    Be, you are thinking of another story. 2 teens were arrested in that case. This is the CO case.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ronjayaz

    We dont know the facts yet. In any event I think it was really careless on the parent's part that she cudnt walk her daughter "two blacks" to the school, etc.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Name*tg

    @Be you r the dummy one. You r talking about two different cases...but both ended in tragedy involving teenagers.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Troll la di da

    What a trashy thing to say yourself, dolt.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
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