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. Bob - eG

    In my initial post I should have first offered my sincere condolences to both families of these young girls whose lives were taken far too early. I have two young daughters and the thought of this happening to one of them makes my stomach turn. I can not imagine how much pain the mother and father must be feeling at this time. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mike feliciano.

    R.I.P little one. And as far as the accused goes. I hope they tattoo permanent makeup on you and set you loose in death row so that they can make you feel pretty.....

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

    Please don't let this guy out... EVER. So sorry to the family for your tragic and unecessary loss.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rexdogcanadien

    Freedom of speech is not an absolute;
    Be Respectful of others
    Be responsible for your own actions
    Before you open your mouth reflect on what, how and why you wish to speak

    October 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      Well said!

      October 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Thank you, this really needed to be said.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Alina77

    It looks like they have nothing on him, that's why they are asking for help from the people. They wouldn't release his picture in such an early stage if it wouldn't be the risk that they might let him go if they wont find any evidence that it was actually him.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • pmn

      Huh? No he is arrested because they have plenty on him. The purpose of releasing his photo is to build a case since he has already been identified in other attempted abduction prior to murdering this girl. Also to prove he is habitual to add a danger to society not just a random act. It could also be the case building against that he plotted and planned the murder.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pmn

    Just really sick and bizarre. Second time in two weeks were a young girl was killed by a teenager. Both cases the mother's turned in their teenage boys. My heart goes out to all these families. Its so sad.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Those parents did the decent thing, despite the pain it must have cost them. This is a terrible situation for all the families involved. This is a hideous nightmare that they cannot awaken from.

      October 24, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Timmy

    scary dude.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BLOWBA

    So, what do you think is motivating these young kids to commit these horrendous acts?
    Video games; lack of parental control; lack of proper teaching in schools????

    October 24, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kyohan

    ....apposed...!!!? Don't know how to spell yet...!!!?

    October 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ICreally?

    Jessica, i pray for you. Not sure I could live if that happened to my daughter. If I was a parent or relative I'm not sure I could refrain from attempting to kill this guy in court. I hope God is helping you and watching over your family.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • carl

      Why don't you donate to a charity rather than wasting time with useless prayer?

      October 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imminent

      Poor Carl. Next time something goes really badly in your life and you need a helping hand (like barreling off the road and in dire straights), don't ask anyone. Just remember this and donate some money to some one or some place while laying there.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • carl

      Poorly educated people, not understanding how the world works, attribute occurences to supernatural forces. There is zero evidence of this. So, even if I am wrong, is prayer harmless? If it is a form of meditation, no, but if you believe you are actually affecting anything it can be harmful. We see this with the religious loonies who seek prayer instead of medical attention. Doing is always more likely to have an impact than praying. Maybe we should cut the budget for the NTSB and pray that planes won't crash, obviously a waste of money.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • carl

      And where did you get your name, Imminent? Let me guess, because the rapture is imminent and you're spreading God's word. "Imminent" like it has been for about two thousand years when Jesus said it would occur in his lifetime. Yes, really. And loonies have been claiming it is right around the corner ever since, and morons keep believing it. Fool me once shame on you, fool me thousands of times shame on me?

      October 24, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imminent

      My nick name has nothing at all to do with religion or philosophy. Why would you go on some anti-God rant here? Are you so insecure that you need validation? Is your life so sad that you have to blame someone that doesn't exist? Mister Emmanuel Goldstein here posted a quote that is one of my favorites that fits you perfectly: "Better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

      You're better off focusing on the subject of this article than commenting on fiction and looking like an idiot. Try and stay focused.

      October 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      You really appear to have a lack of belief in your own position since you find it necessary to bully other people like this, carl. We do have both freedom of expression, & freedom of religion. Harassment of others for their beliefs merely makes you appear weak.

      October 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Burbank

    Ykes! That kid looks evil like there is no soul shining out of his eyes. Psychopath!

    October 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. katrina

    murder is murder. Only simple minds try to make it a race issue. I am sorry this family has to go through this. But, I am sorry when any murderer attacks. period.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sheesh

    WHY?!

    October 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Derderder

    Thank god it was a white perp so CNN could post the mugshot. Unfortunately, we see very little coverage from CNN of Autumn Pasquale, the young New Jersey girl who was killed by two unpictured "teens", apparently for her BMX bike. Certainly it's not front page news.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imminent

      Eh, making it a race issue? Seriously? You and Sonia should get together. You'll get a long great.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      CNN, like 99% of news sources, do not post the names and pictures of juvenile suspects. This case is just a very rare instance where the police already released the name and picture, despite the age. You should heed the adage "Better to be silent and thought a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"

      October 24, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      Get over yourself!

      October 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Hey idiot:

      "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."

      Maybe it needed to be laid out in smaller words for you.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sonia

    i've read posts like this many times and it is the same pattern over and over again. when it is a white criminal there is a lot of mercy expressed for the suspect. but in the case of a black person, the public couldn't tear him/her limb from limb fast enough!!! this shows that this country is still ruled by racial prejudices and it's getting really old.

    October 24, 2012 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Imminent

      I haven't seen any posts here like that. You sure you're not making that up or hallucinating? There's no race issue here. You are the issue. Move along now...move along.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anchorite

      Yep, whenever the perp is a Mexican, Muslim, or black, it's all about his race or religion on here. When he's white and Christian, suddenly he's an individual.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      Sonia–take a look at the advice I gave the guy in the post above, it would help both of you: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

      October 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joy

      Funny you say it's getting old, yet your the one who brings it up...You too get over yourself!

      October 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Sonia there are not posts like that. Murder of children is horrific no matter the race. Focus on the subject at hand and show some sympathy to the family if you are even capable. This family has just had their entire life altered forever.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      What have you been smoking? I haven't seen anyone being merciful toward this punk. Stop inventing crap to further your boo-hoo agenda.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emmanuel Goldstein

      Sonia–take a look at the advice I gave the guy in the post above, it would help both of you: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt." Every post on this message board is about wanting to string this kid up. No one is advocating any patience, in waiting for evidence, much less advocating any degree of mercy. I am pretty darn socially liberal, and it really annoys me when people like you cry racism where there is NO sign of it whatsoever. There is racism in this country, and around the world. Save your outrage for the cases where it ACTUALLY exists, otherwise it diminishes the cries from people in TRUE instances.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • MD

      Sonia and Anchorite, you are both trolls. Your meaningless comments should be deleted. They have no place in this comment area.

      October 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17