Communities Gather At Vigils For Jessica Ridgeway
Westminster Police Ridgeway Case Tip Line: (303) 658-4336 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)- Thousands of people attended two vigils Tuesday evening to show their support in the search for Jessica Ridgeway who has been missing since Friday morning.
Police in Westminster estimated 2,500 people attended a gathering at Kensington Park in Westminster.
“We want to be a beacon of light,” said Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk.
Those who attended the vigil hoped to send one message to the Ridgeway family: They are not alone.
“I can’t imagine what she must be going through,” said one woman attending the vigil. “I just thank the Lord that I have my children and I pray that she will get hers returned.”
Families brought their children and carried flashlights, lanterns and cell phone spotlights. Others held homemade signs and sang songs of hope.
PHOTO GALLERY: Jessica Ridgeway Vigil
“I hope they find her safe. I hope whoever may have her hands her to somebody who puts her somewhere safe,” said another.
“I want to assure all of you that we are doing everything humanly possible to bring this girl home and find whoever is responsible for this horrible act,” said Birk.
Nearly 200 people gathered at a vigil in Superior to pray for Jessica and her safe return.
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. The 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.
– Ridgeway’s backpack was found on the sidewalk near Alpha Court and Andrew Drive in the Rock Creek neighborhood in Superior. That’s 6.4 miles away from her home. It’s unknown so far at what point the backpack wound up there.
– The CBI is analyzing the backpack for DNA evidence and is collecting evidence from Ridgeway’s home for comparison.
– Searches have taken place around Jessica’s home and her school, as well as in open space areas in Westminster. Another area that has undergone an extensive search is Rock Creek and open space areas near there.
A dozen different police agencies are helping Westminster police in their search for Ridgeway.