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. Tiffany

    No greater fear for any parent. Prayers from OKlahoma for this family.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bob - eG

    funny how CNN has no problem posting the picture of this crazy white boy all over their front page for the murder of Jessica Ridgeway, but they wouldn't release pictures or names of the two young black men arrested in the Autumn Pasquale murder case. Both cases sadly involve 17 year old boys committing a heinous crime. What are our youth evolving into. need to take care of your children and teach them respect of other's property and more importantly, life. I feel as a society in general, we have let down our youth by opening up to the liberal concepts of easy divorce and abortion when convenient. People don't think about the impact this can have on the people around you.....especially our youth. Sad......

    October 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • photogrrl

      in the Colorado case, the name and photo of the suspect were purposely released by police TO THE PUBLIC AND THE MEDIA in order for the public to be able to offer additional information.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • freje

      I don't understand why that's 'funny' or necessary to point out. The police released this information. Stop trying to make race an issue in this case. They are two separate cases and as CNN pointed out-a 17 year old can be charged as an adult or juvenile.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      The reason is because the other two have been charged as juveniles, and as such, the names are not released. They are trying to get them into the adult courts, and if that happens (and hopefully it will), names will be released.

      October 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • dirqui

      sounds like you are crying reverse discrimination???

      October 24, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • dirqui

      Feel awful but sounds like this and the New Jersey murder were results of parents negligent in some way. Colorado mother was asleep and her daughter at 10 walks a mile to school. i drive my teens to bust stop a quarter a mile away! And Autumn at her age had an 8pm curfew to be riding around on her bike? lived with father, siblings, dad 's girlfriend and her kids? did they let her out for 8 hours and realize she didn't come home?

      October 24, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • EPUnum1

      PHotogrrl had it right from the article.
      I can't agree with you more about the parenting though. I do believe that a bull elephant figure is necessary in these young boys lives. At that age, young men have a tendency not to respect any other authority. They need that critical guidance.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • TransHuman

      You're so obvious... why do you even bother?

      October 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Last to Know

      why do you delight and salivate thinking about blacks killing whites? Why is it that you take pleasure in reporting such things? Why did you decide to make this an issue of race instead of an issue of murder? CNN explained why they released this picture (one released by police looking for the subject) but you fail to understand. Stop thinking black and white and start thinking good vs evil.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alina77

    Little Jessica RIP , we got him ..

    October 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • photogrrl

      amazing how many people don't believe in "innocent until proven guilty" in a court of law...hope none of you ever get arrested (I personally haven't been committed any crimes or ever been arrested, but I'd sure want the presumption of innocence and not get executed via the social media...)

      October 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truthdetector

      photogirl seems to think that means 'turn off your brain & close your eyes & ears'...that is why we have courts, justice will be carried out there...not on a stupid media thread, brainless!

      October 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
  4. freshnewblog

    I am so sorry for the mother's loss.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Youngman

    Rest in peace little girl, my heart is broken for you and your family. God bless!

    October 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    Assuming that's his mug shot, I hope he's not offered bail, as he looks like he's angry about getting caught instead of remorseful and scared.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truthdetector

      He looks like Jeffrey Dahmer on crack!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      He pretty much looks like most 17yo boys.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AmericanFool in Colorado

    I hope they have the right person. that needs to be determined as soon as possible. There can be no justice for Jessica; some injustices simply cannot be corrected. Once you are a parent, you are forever vulnerable, and I feel so badly for the parents and family. The perpetrator is like a wild animal that needs to be put down because it's become a danger to humans. Every parent in the Arvada/Westminster/Broomfield area is breathing a little easier tonight.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      How appropriate you have the world "Fool" in your SN

      October 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Give them Life in Prison

    Just another horrific murder story ~ and worse because it involved a child being murdered by another older chidl. Very sad for another family as well ~ a 12 year old girl named Amber, in NJ, over parts for her bike. I usually side with children, but not when they murder other children. I hope we see both those monsters from each of these cases end up in prison for life if they are indeed guilty of the crimes of which they are charged ~ with no possibility of parole. It's no less than what they deserve if they are guilty! May both these girls be at peace. I can't imagine the horror and pain they endured. 🙁

    October 24, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. deb

    Wow! Only 17 and he's already a monster.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truthdetector

      he went to only the best schools!

      October 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joe


    October 24, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dan

    Just look at that young man. I knew he would be African American and he is.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truthdetector


      October 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. tried of it all

    upon guilty verdict a swift public execution is needed. or let him go and ill do it

    October 24, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. judas

    I thought the rapist looks like Romney instead.

    October 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elk Hunter

      You rcomment has to be the most idiotic reply I've seen.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. 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 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Sam

    What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty in this country? Grab your pitchforks it want be long before we will have guilt by news article and vigilante justice.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Be that as it may, in a case like this, there has to be probable cause that this kid is responsible or they would have never been able to arrest. They may have even presented said cause to a prosecutor to ensure they'd get a warrant – you don't want to make a hasty judgment/bad call, get the kid in under a bad arrest and then lose anything/everything that he says thereafter. Innocent until proven guilty, yes, but likely in this case......

      October 24, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason Vorhese

      That is a good point and one that is lost on everyone in the heat of the moment.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • harish tekchandani

      Fred, what world are you living in? Cops basically do what they want. There's a fine line between cop and criminal.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • TT

      Applies to court of law... not internet blogs.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      They have DNA evidence from the Jessica Ridgeway murder that matches DNA from the attempted abduction of the 22 year old woman from memorial day in his neighborhood. I imagine his DNA matches these two samples.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • tobchy4u

      Probably old news but he confessed to his mother who in turn, called the police and turned her son in. I can't imagine what that mother went through, the strength, courage, and such that she displayed in doing this.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
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