SUPERIOR, Colo. (CBS4) – Police shut down a neighborhood in Superior for most of the day on Sunday after getting a major lead in the case of missing Jessica Ridgeway.
A backpack and water bottle that belonged to the 10-year-old who has been missing since Friday morning were found in a Superior neighborhood on the sidewalk.
Authorities went home by home in the neighborhood where the discovery was made interviewing residents about it. They said they want residents to talk to their children about it and to find out if they know any more about how the objects got there.
Westminster Police Ridgeway Case Tip Line: (303) 658-4336 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A helicopter and K-9 units were also dispatched to help in the search in Superior on Sunday.
Police say they also want to know if anyone who drove through the neighborhood saw something that might give them a clue about how Ridgeway’s objects got there.
Ridgeway is now listed on the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children list. The following is known about her disappearance:
– Jessica Ridgeway, 10, disappeared on her way to school Friday morning. After leaving home on foot, she never met up with friends she normally walks to school with at Chelsea Park that morning. The park is about three blocks from her home.
– When she didn’t arrive at Witt Elementary School, Jeffco 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.
– Ridgeway’s backpack and water bottle were found on the sidewalk near Alpha Court and Andrew Drive in Superior. That’s about six miles from her home.
“Obviously over the weekend kids are out of school. There is the chance that kids may have gone by (and seen the backpack) while playing or riding bikes. We want parents to talk to their children about it. They are probably aware that a girl from an elementary school is missing. We don’t want kids to feel like they did anything wrong and ask and urge parents to talk to your children. If you think that they have information that’s beneficial to this investigation we ask that you call us,” Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso said Monday morning.
On Saturday 500 volunteers were helped police by searching in organized groups along trails, in parks and in open spaces in the Westminster area but no such searches happened on Sunday. The major search effort by officers, which involves multiple agencies including the FBI, continued Sunday, overnight and into early Monday morning.
Ridgeway’s family hasn’t spoken publicly about the case so far. The girl lives with her mother and her father lives out of state.
Anyone with helpful information is asked to contact a Westminster police tip line at (303) 658-4336.