WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4) – A community wide memorial service for Jessica Ridgeway is planned for Tuesday night.
The service is set for 7 p.m. at Faith Bible Chapel at 62nd and Ward, and the video will be available through a live stream on CBSDenver.com.
Family members told CBS4 the memorial will be a celebration of Ridgeway’s life. They say that’s what she would have wanted.
“She lived her life the way we should, one day at a time, smiling as many moments as possible,” Ridgeway’s cousin Nicholas Pesavento said. “I’d like to make sure that that still happens.”
Westminster police and the FBI are still following leads in the search for Ridgeway’s killer. More than 4,000 tips have come in to police in the case.
Police are still canvassing neighborhoods and searching open spaces, but they still need help from the public in the form of tips.
“If you see something that is suspicious, our recommendation is to just leave it and call us,” said Jill McGranahan, spokewoman for Arvada police, which is also involved in the investigation. “This person is still out there and you never know what’s going to be the piece that helps us to find him.”
A command center has been set up where investigators work in shifts, around the clock. There are different teams focusing on certain aspects of the investigation.
“The command center is driven by work that needs to be done. The command post will stay operational,” Trevor Matterasso with Westminster police said. “The hope is it will no longer be needed when we identify and capture him.”
The tips are coming in from all over the country. There are 15 to 25 police agencies assisting and about 1,100 volunteers helping. The FBI is still urging people to examine any behavior changes you may have observed in people you know, even strangers.
“I don’t think our entire community will have peace until he is caught, or she, whoever did this,” mother Renee Rieser said.
Westminster Police Ridgeway Case Tip Line: (303) 658-4336 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jessica Ridgeway Murder Timeline
- 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 Ridgeway’s body is found in Arvada on Highway near Pattridge Park Open Space and Highway 93, about seven miles from Ridgeway’s home.