According to the latest Jessica Ridgeway case update on Friday, October 26, 2012, the search for evidence in the murder of Jessica Ridgeway continues at Austin Sigg’s home in the 10600 block of 102nd Avenue in Westminster, Colorado. “When Sigg, 17, confessed to police shortly before he was taken into custody on Tuesday night he told them where to find some of Jessica’s remains in a crawl space under the home.” (CBS4 Denver) While 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg’s confession and DNA evidence was sufficient for a judge to hold Austin Reed Sigg without bond on Thursday, there are many more potential predators out there.
What happened to 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on the morning of October 5, 2012, can happen to many other girls.
According to CBS4 Denver, the following sequence of events have been established:
- On the morning of October 5, 2012, Jessica left home to walk to her Witt Elementary School.
- Jessica disappeared before she could meet up with friends she normally walks to school with at Chelsea Park.
- Chelsea Park is about three blocks from her home and about a mile from the school.
- “When she didn’t arrive at Witt Elementary School in Westminster, Jefferson County Schools officials tried to contact her mother. They made a call at 10 a.m. but were only able to leave a voicemail. Ridgeway’s mother, who works an overnight shift and sleeps during the day, didn’t get the message until 4:30 p.m. and immediately contacted Westminster police.”
- “ It took about five hours before the protocols were met in the case for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to call an Amber Alert.”
- Jessica’s backpack was found 6.4 miles away from her home on a sidewalk near Alpha Court and Andrew Drive in the Rock Creek neighborhood in Superior.
- The search for Jessica included Jessica’s home and surrounding area, her school, open space areas in Westminster, and the Rock Creek neighborhood.
- On October 9, 2012, Jessica’s parents appealed in a “tearful televised plea” for help .
- On October 11, 2012, Jessica’s body was found later in the day only seven miles away from her home in Arvada on Highway near Pattridge Park Open Space and Highway 93.
- On October 23, 2012, 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg was arrested at his home which he shared with his mother. His arrest report states that he was taken into custody at 7:45 p.m. and that “SUBJECT CONTACTED IN REFERENCE THIS CASE. SUBJECT HANDCUFFS DOUBLE LOCKED AND CHECKED FOR FIT. SUBJECT TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AND TRANSPORTED TO THE WESTMINSTER POLICE DEPARTMENT FOR INTERVIEW AND BOOKING. SUBJECT LATER TRANSPORTED TO MOUNTAIN VIEW DETENTION FACILITY.”
After Jessica Ridgeway’s killer has been arrested and the Westminster Police Department continues to provide updates on Jessica Ridgeway’s killer, the world has been freed of one predator; Austin Reed Sigg.
However, there are many more predators out there.
In a most recent Jessica Ridgeway update published on Friday around 5 p.m. by Denver’s CBS4/AP, Arvada police spokesman Sgt. Mark Nazaryk said that the police in Colorado also want to question another teenage suspect who tried to abduct two children in September. “A sketch developed in the September incidents bears some resemblance to 17-year-old Austin Sigg.” However, the “sketch and Sigg’s mug shot wasn’t an exact match, Nazaryk noted.” Sgt. Mark Nazaryk said that investigators are trying to determine if Sigg had access to a royal blue, four-door sedan described by witnesses in both cases. “In order for detectives in Arvada to speak to Sigg they will have to first put in an official request through the Westminster Police Department and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office.”
For anyone who can assist Westminster’s Police Department in identifying another potentially lethal predator, Jessica Ridgeway’s official website posts a phone number and e-mail link.
While Jessica’s short life has ended as a prey to Austin Reed Sigg, her existence continues spiritually; “Jessica Christine Ridgeway January 23, 2002 – October 5, 2012”. Jessica’s official website depicts her pictures, Jessica’s ribbon, updated police community news, information about the “1st Annual Justice for Jessica Memorial Run and Ride”, and “Upcoming Events” for Jessica.
How do parents prevent their children from becoming a prey to a predator?
The National Victim Notification Network offers “crime victims to obtain timely and reliable information about criminal cases and the custody status of offenders 24 hours a day.” Information about predators can be obtained via a searchable online state map, an offender’s name, or an offender’s identification number. In addition to online information about offenders, the National Victim Notification Network offers the following downloadable pdf information booklets:
- Online Victim Service Resources: This document contains Online Victim Assistance, Criminal, and Juvenile Justice-related Resources.
- Toll-Free Victim Service Resource Numbers: This document contains National Toll-Free Numbers for Crime Victims’ Rights, Services, and Justice Resources.
- When the Offender is Behind Bars: This document is provided by the National Center for Victims of Crime.
The Mesa County Safe Kids website from Grand Junction, Colorado, provides a Stranger Danger for Kids book, a Missing Child Checklist For Families pamphlet, a Walking To School pamphlet, and a Missing Child Article pamphlet.
“It’s a jungle out there”
Unfortunately, today’s world has changed. When Jessica walked to school on the fateful October 5, 2012 morning, the only thing that could have prevented her from becoming Austin Reed Sigg’s prey would have been was not walking alone.
Today’s world has become a world of predators and preys; including the world of the internet.
The famous theme song “IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE” of the American comedy-drama detective mystery television series Monk which ran from 2002 to 2009, has become too much of a reality.
“It’s a jungle out there
Disorder and confusion everywhere
No one seems to care
Well I do
Hey, who’s in charge here?
It’s a jungle out there
Poison in the very air we breathe
Do you know what’s in the water that you drink?
Well I do, and it’s amazing
People think I’m crazy, ’cause I worry all the time
If you paid attention, you’d be worried too
You better pay attention
Or this world we love so much might just kill you
I could be wrong now, but I don’t think so
It’s a jungle out there”
The theme song’s words (USA Network) “Hey, who’s in charge here?” are a crucial reminder for parents that in order to protect their children, it is helpful to understand that the world is a jungle and that they have to be in charge. Jessica’s death is a reminder that no one, nowhere, and at no time is safe. Predators like Austin Reed Sigg will strike whenever and wherever they can.
Jessica’s Jungle: Predator and prey
Viewing the world (including the internet) as a dangerous “jungle” filled with ”disorder and confusion everywhere” might be perceived as “People think I’m crazy, ‘cause I worry all the time”. However, remembering the lessons from life in a jungle might save a child’s life in the future. In a jungle, the most likely prey for predators are the weak ones, the young ones, and the ones that walk alone. For 10-year-old Jessica; – a fatal encounter with no return.
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