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17-Year-Old Arrested In Jessica Ridgeway Murder Investigation

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Austin Reed Sigg (credit: Westminster Police)

Austin Reed Sigg (credit: Westminster Police)

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. (CBS4)- Police in Westminster have made an arrest in the Jessica Ridgeway murder investigation.

Police announced the arrest of Austin Reed Sigg on Wednesday morning. The 17-year-old is a Westminster resident. He is being held on two counts of investigation of murder, kidnapping and criminal attempt at the Mount View Youth Services Center.

“We have taken a significant step towards justice for Jessica,” said Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk during a noon news conference on Wednesday. “We have made an arrest in the Jessica Ridgeway case. Seventeen-year-old Austin Sigg is in our custody.”

Police were alerted to Sigg as the suspect when police said he confessed to his mother and she called police Tuesday. After officers arrived at their home, he turned himself into police.

Sigg is described as a white teen male, 5-foot-6, 160 pounds, brown hair and green eyes. He was born in Colorado.

Sigg was taken into police custody at his home in the 10600 block of 102nd Avenue in Westminster on Tuesday evening. That is near Ketner Lake Open Space, several blocks from where Jessica was abducted on her way to Witt Elementary School on Oct. 5.

7th grade 17 Year Old Arrested In Jessica Ridgeway Murder Investigation

Austin Sigg 7th Grade Wayne Carle Middle School yearbook photo (credit: CBS)

Sigg attended Witt Elementary, the same school Jessica attended when she was abducted. Sigg was enrolled in Jefferson County Schools from fifth to eleventh grade. After Witt Elementary, he attended Wayne Carle Middle School and Standley Lake High School.

Sigg attended Warren Tech at the same time as Standley Lake High School. Sigg did not receive a diploma from Jefferson County Schools, however he did complete the GED program and received a certificate.

standley lake 2011 17 Year Old Arrested In Jessica Ridgeway Murder Investigation

Austin Sigg Standley Lake 2011 Yearbook (credit: CBS)

Sigg was enrolled in the forensic science program at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton. Classmates told CBS4 he wanted to be a mortician.

sigg home copter 17 Year Old Arrested In Jessica Ridgeway Murder Investigation

Investigators surround Sigg’s home in the 10600 block of 102nd Ave. in Westminster on Wednesday. (credit: CBS)

Sigg is being held in the Mount View Services Center. Police said that is the usual place where juveniles who have been arrested are held.

RELATED VIDEO: Westminster Police Announce Suspect In Jessica Ridgeway Murder

Police said late Tuesday evening police received a call that led them to a home near the Ketner Lake Open Space in Westminster. They were able to arrest Sigg in the 10-year-old’s murder.

“Though an arrest has been made there continues to be a substantial amount of work, leads, follow up that has to be done,” said Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso. “If you look at this and recognize or you think there is any information that would still benefit the investigation we would continue to ask that you call the Westminster Police Department.”

Westminster Police Ridgeway Case Tip Line: (303) 658-4336 or pdamberalert@cityofwestminster.us

where this all happened tra 17 Year Old Arrested In Jessica Ridgeway Murder Investigation

(credit: CBS)

Authorities were also able to file charges against Sigg for the May 28 attempted abduction of a woman jogging near Ketner Lake.

Sigg is tentatively scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.

“We want to thank the community for the thousands of tips they have provided in this case,” said Birk. “Those tips have been instrumental and very helpful in this case.”

Police in Westminster searched Sigg’s home where he lived with his mother for evidence on Wednesday.

sigg home 17 Year Old Arrested In Jessica Ridgeway Murder Investigation

Copter4 flew over the Sigg home in Westminster on Wednesday. Detectives gathered evidence from the SUV parked in the driveway and inside. (credit: CBS)

Investigators seemed to take particular interest in a Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV that was parked in the driveway of Sigg’s home. The vehicle was hauled away on a tow truck for investigation. Copter4 followed it to a garage at the Westminster Police Department where it will be examined and evidence collected.

“We can’t give you a lot of information. Affidavits in this case have been sealed. That’s under a court order. We all are precluded from giving too much detail,” said Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey.

cherokee 17 Year Old Arrested In Jessica Ridgeway Murder Investigation

Copter4 flew over Austin Sigg’s home where a Jeep Grand Cherokee was hauled away by investigators. (credit: CBS)

According to the arrest report, Sigg was cooperative with police and waived his rights when taken into custody Tuesday night.

“We notified the Ridgeway family this morning of this arrest. It gives them some measure of closure in dealing with this horrible tragedy and loss that they have suffered,” said Birk. “We also hope that knowing that an arrest has been made in this case can cause our community to rest a little easier and maybe feel a little safer.”

RELATED: Ridgeway Investigators Find Link With Jogger Abduction Attempt

Police have not said whether DNA from one of the crime scenes, either Ridgeway’s Westminster neighborhood or Ketner Lake, helped lead them to a suspect.

“The home that you see is in and around the area that law enforcement have been working since the beginning of the investigation,” said Materasso.

Gov. John Hickenlooper released this statement about the arrest in the investigation, “Every parent in every Colorado community will rest a little easier tonight. While we still mourn the death of Jessica Ridgeway, we are relieved an arrest has been made and the pursuit of justice can continue. We are especially grateful today to law enforcement officers at all levels for their quick action in this case.”

“All of the samples that we’ve taken up to this point have been voluntarily donated by the people who we’re contacting,” Materasso said on Tuesday.

RELATED VIDEO: Web Extra Legal Expert Discusses Ridgeway Murder Suspect Arrest

The samples fall into several categories — those contacted in the canvass of Ridgeway’s neighborhood or where her backpack was found in Superior; people in the area who were on cellphones at the time of the disappearance; and those who might fit the description of the person who they are seeking, who they described as 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 with light skin and brown hair.

Police confirm 500 samples have been taken.

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 was found in Arvada on Highway near Pattridge Park Open Space and Highway 93, about seven miles from Ridgeway’s home.

- Police arrested Austin Reed Sigg, 17, at his home in the 10600 block of 102nd Avenue on Oct. 23. According to the police report, Sigg confessed to police and waived his rights when taken into custody.

Westminster Police Ridgeway Case Tip Line: (303) 658-4336 or pdamberalert@cityofwestminster.us

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