Westminster Police Taking Possible Jessica Ridgeway Sighting In Maine Seriously
Get CBS4 News Updates In Your Inbox
Westminster Police Ridgeway Case Tip Line: (303) 658-4336 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)- Police in Westminster investigating the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway are taking possible sightings of the 10-year-old in Maine seriously.
Police in Maine are looking for a vehicle that could be related to Jessica’s disappearance.
According to Dexter Police Sgt. Alan Ginnell, a woman claimed she saw a girl that looked like Jessica at about 4 p.m. on Sunday in Dexter, about 30 miles northwest of Bangor, Maine.
The woman said the girl was in a light blue Buick with Colorado license plates. The car had roof racks but she did not see the license plate number.
The woman who called police said she did not know about the missing girl investigation until Tuesday when she was surfing the internet and saw the information about the search for Jessica.
Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso said they are taking the possible sighting of Jessica seriously and are working with police in Maine.
In a news conference on Wednesday morning, Materasso also discussed how the investigation had received tips from several states, including Maryland, Texas, Nevada and Wyoming.
“This is only one tip in the hundreds that we have received. We’ve received tips from multiple states and just to name a few are: Maryland, Texas, Wyoming and Nevada. Obviously this disappearance of Jessica has garnered national attention and we are receiving tips from across the country so we don’t want the focus to shift to one location,” said Materasso.
Witt Elementary, where Jessica attends school, has been put on lockout.
“A lockout in this purpose is to lock the exterior doors of the school. It allows them to operate under normal educational purposes. They are in there teaching, they’re doing what the school needs to do with the student body. And it’s just because there are so many law enforcement and people in and around that community as we’re conducting our canvass,” said Materasso. “It’s the same canvass that we’ve been using throughout our investigation. The benefit today is that so many agencies had so many people available for our use.”
“We’ve been looking into sex offenders since the beginning of this investigation as standard procedure,” said Materasso.
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.