WESTMINSTER, Colorado (ABC 4 News) - Police have found an unidentified body in an Arvada, Colo., park, just a few miles from where 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway went missing last Friday.
Police haven’t officially tied the crime scene at the Pattridge Park open space in Arvada to the missing girl.
“The Arvada Police Department and Westminster Police Department are working jointly with additional resources to process that crime scene,” Westminster, Colo., police investigator Trevor Materasso told reporters this evening. “At this time, we’re unable to make any connection to the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway. That crime scene will exist through the evening and into tomorrow morning.”
However, three sources told ABC News that investigators have reasons to believe it is the body of the 10-year old who vanished last week on her walk to school, stressing that a positive identification will take time.
Earlier today, investigators said Jessica’s parents were not suspects in her disappearance, which they referred to as a likely abduction.
“At this point in the investigation, after thoroughly looking at the parents, we’re confident that they’re not involved in the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway,” Materasso said earlier. “The focus shifts to an unknown suspect, as we think that she was abducted.”
Sarah Ridgeway told police she last saw her daughter in Westminster, Colo., last Friday morning when Jessica left for school. The fifth-grader never showed up at a nearby park where she was supposed to meet friends for the one-mile walk to her elementary school.
The school called to report Jessica absent, but Sarah Ridgeway told police she was asleep during the day because she works overnights and did not get the call until eight hours later, when she called police.