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. 1amazed1

    If it is him.....Let him fry or better yet public stoning

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

      Really? My guess is that you'll clam to be a religious person. Just an example of how most Christians really aren't Christian at all. Jesus ushered in a new erra. No more eye for an eye.

      If he's guilty, put him in prison for the rest of his life. Killing him won't bring back the little girl.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Harish tekchandani, you are really ignorant. And what's worse is that you don't know how ignorant you are. The "turn the other cheek" teaching is in reference to personal offenses, not the state dealing out justice for criminals. And there is nothing wrong with people being angry over a crime. Paul wrote about how the government is a minister of God to punish those who do evil and reward those who do good. Government not only has the right to punish those who commit evil, but an obligation.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • i12bphil

      harish, assumptions are fallacy. You're building a straw man to knock down because you have a view of a certain group you don't like and feel a need to attack them via any means. What makes you think that life in prison isn't more cruel than the death penalty? Life in prison IS a death penalty, just a delayed one.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • TWAL

      @ harish tekchandani- No it will not bring Jessica back but putting him to death will alleviate the burden he will be on taxpayers for the next 65 +years.
      A crime that heinous deserves to be met w/ sentence that reflects the crime and that would be death,let him know he's going to die and let him live with that.At least he'll wake up one day knowing he won't be going to sleep or waking up the following day,unlike his victim....

      October 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      The only difference between Harish tekchandani and a piece of dung is that the dung can't type.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Caps

      @harish tekchandani,,,,,,,,,,,,,What da hell you talmbout What tha hell you talking bout? I don't think you understand & got stacks on top of stacks .....????

      October 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • dana

      @ TWAL the appeals process for execution is more costly to taxpayers than life imprisonment.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pickels

    Just ME, so we are to assume your not?

    October 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. adin

    When police officers under pressure, they are looking for anyone and everyone, don't be surprised if this kid is innocent. They searched 500 homes, 1000 cares, where did they get those warrants that fast? Other than the people allowing searches, which I most certainly would NOT, this is still America, I have a feeling the Colorado Police Dept. are corrupt individuals who think they can break peoples rights anyway they want. They also enlisted the name and picture of a minor? This is completely wrong and having NO charges yet filed they are breaking every civil right this person has. I'm so sick and tired of hearing how police THINK they can do anything they want, regardless of the situation, POLICE STATE USA is here, and 1000s of people have died for that cause, not just one.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ps

      the news is saying that his mother turned him in. so i have a feeling this guy is guilty

      October 24, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Grumpster

      @adin – methinks your tin foil hat is a wee bit too snug.

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

      Your comments sound as if you're familiar with Colorados judicial system from first hand experience.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Saddened In Denver

      Huh ? ? ?

      October 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • a

      The "Colorado Police Department"? Surely you mean either Arvada or Colorado State Police.

      Also the kid's mother turned him in. I agree, take off the foil hat.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • i12bphil

      States don't run the local police departments. Those are run by the cities themselves. Your blanket statement is based on obvious ignorance.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • HaveSomeReason

      You remember this is a case for a 10 year old girl that was dismembered? And those 500 and 1000s that you talk about. Most of them volunteered their search to help find this guy. How about you be accurate. And unless you are in the police department, get off your high horse.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • dirtdogs

      dang, if his mom did turn him in.........of course it was the right thing to do but that's a lot of heartache to go around. hope this is the guy bc the perp will not stop til he's caught or dead.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • dance4fun1

      I think just hearing he is 17 makes it easy for people to picture some child doing nothing with his life still playing video games and taking ADD meds. He was a community college student, which I get since I graduated high school at 17 and started off my freshman year still being 17. Not only did this "KID" win a crime scene investigation award for a crime related class he was taking, but the scary thing is that he was hoping to become a MORTICIAN one day. So that is a freaky thought- that had he not acted on his bizarre impulses this early in life, wed have a "socially acceptable" person who seems normal enough most likely, working in a funeral home and with criminology (although not much of one, he couldnt have done too much in college still being seventeen) knowledge as well. He was going to fit into society and hide within it. Those are the worst types of people because by the time they are suspected of anything, years have passed. I feel for the families involved in this tragedy and know that they will never get over this.

      October 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Average Joe

    He's wearing some kind of string around his neck. Is it a wooden cross

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

      I was thinking the same thing. Wonder if his mother recognized it and she called him on it.. maybe?

      October 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • writingmomma

      More than likely it is a pentagram. He looks as if he is filled with seven demons from hell for real.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      Actually, he looks like a pretty normal 17yo boy.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • a

      A pentagram is a religious symbol of much positive significance to pagan and neopagan faiths. Surely you mean the inverted pentagram.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  5. jeff

    If anybody killed my daughter, I would only need 5 minutes to give him the punishment he deserves. Two cases in a week of children being killed. What the heck is wrong with our crazy society?

    October 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      You'd be dead.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      oops, he's be not you'd be 😉

      October 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • writingmomma

      Look at your television and video games that people are playing today. If you go to the movies, all you see is movies of killing, blood guts and gore anymore. Society is on the road to distruction and are being blinded by money!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • dirtdogs

      if you're talking about that 12 y/o girl killed for her bike, she was killed by teen boys too. kids killing kid. yup, as the mom of a teen girl this is all pretty damn scary.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • ironfray

      Actually, if it were my daughter... I'd make sure he lives as long as possibe. Death would be his savior.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logen

      @harish tekchandani-–Wait When might Uncle Sam come knocking at your door? IP is on the Way

      October 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ES71

    Wow,imagine your kids going to school with one of these killers. And how many are out there who ar eborderline, violent but don't follow through, I think we went to far with political correctness in our country.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • writingmomma

      Long gone are the days when "kids could be kids." Now we deal with kids on Meth, Bath salts, Heroin and just plain nuts. There used to be discipline in the schools, homes and neighborhoods. Oh yea, that was when we had God in our churches (Instead of greedy pastors), God in our schools and homes. By the way, didn't the family that fought to have all things God removed dissappear themselves? Wonder if they were just used as tools by satan to wreak havoc on AMERICA!!!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Peggy Munro


    October 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Walrus Mustache

    Eyes that wide apart usually mean Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Justice will be done. Eventually.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • i12bphil

      The distance between the eyes of the average person is one eye width. His eyes are normal.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Saddened In Denver

    Killing in ones own race is nothing new. Afro-Americans will continue to kill Afro-Americans and Europeans will do the same within there racial-community. It is sad that killings happen at all let alone young unattended persons would actually do such terrible things. I find absolutely nothing humorous about killing and further disturbed about the willing departure from ethical upbringing, personal responsibility as well as steady positive parental interaction. May the Ridgeways and community start to find some measure of closure with the arrest of that disturbed young man.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Venusian

    If the Mom turned him in I wonder if she was moved by the Autumn Pasquale case in which the Mother turned her 2 sons in.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. harish tekchandani

    You are a m0r0n

    October 24, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Selmers

    Kill him.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      How would that help?

      October 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nobaddays68

    For the record before the lynch mob mentality gets hold – the boy has only been charged he is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Lindalou

    Before they catch him, you have a visual of this awful monster you could pick out of a lineup based on his looks. I would never in a million years look at this guy and think depraved sociopath. Hopefully a jury can see past the looks and put him away from civilization forever.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • ES71

      On subconsious level you do pick up some sense of threat from this guy. There is something in his face that is not proportional, then there is a stare and then the white of eyes is showing. People call it "gut feeling". But yes, normally you would dismiss such observations as irrational.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. PA Mom

    The article states he is charged with TWO COUNTS OF MURDER? Who is the other victim????

    October 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • vpk

      need only one execution

      October 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kendall

      Sometimes prosecutors will charge two counts because a single crime violates two different statutes or different sections of a statute, even if there is only one victim.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I've got a feeling guilty.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
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