WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)– Police and other agencies investigating the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway are not ruling out a possible connection to an attempted abduction suspect.
Police in Arvada have been investigating two cases of attempted abduction since Sept. 9. Now police in Westminster are taking a closer look at the case to see if there is a connection to Jessica’s disappearance.
On that day a child was approached by a stranger near Quaker Acres Park in Arvada near Warder Elementary School. The stranger allegedly offered candy and asked the child to come to his car.
Three days later another child was approached by a similar stranger offering candy at Fitzmorris Elementary School.
In both instances the children ran away and told adults what had happened.
Jessica Ridgeway has been missing since Friday morning while walking to meet friends on the way to Witt Elementary School in Westminster.
The suspect has been described as a white man between 20-40 years old with brown hair, short brown beard driving a blue 4-door sedan.
On Sept. 14 Jefferson County School District sent a letter to parents warning them of the situation with the attempted abductions.
Attempted abduction on Sept. 12 was the last known sighting of that stranger.
Police in Westminster said they haven’t ruled out any connection and are investigating the incidents.
Ridgeway is 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 on the morning of Oct. 5. 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 analyzed the backpack for DNA evidence and collected evidence from Ridgeway’s home for comparison.
– Searches were taking place around Jessica’s home and her school, as well as in open space areas in Westminster. Another area that underwent an extensive search was Rock Creek and open space areas near there.
– A day after their tearful televised plea for help and thanks to the community, police on Oct. 10 ruled out Ridgeway’s parents as being involved in her disappearance. Police said Ridgeway may have been abducted by an unknown suspect.
– Late in the day on Oct. 11 a body is found in Arvada near Highway 93, about seven miles from Ridgeway’s home.
Westminster Police Ridgeway Case Tip Line: (303) 658-4336 or firstname.lastname@example.org