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Jessica Ridgeway murder case arrest

3:17 PM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Arrest brings closure to Ridgeway's family

  • Jessica Ridgeway (KUSA)
  • Austin Reed Sigg

By Blair Shiff, Robert Garrison

WESTMINSTER (KUSA) - Westminster police have made an arrest in the Jessica Ridgeway case.

The suspect, 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg, was taken into custody on Tuesday. Sources tell 9NEWS the mother of Sigg somehow found out about his possible involvement in Jessica's disappearance.

"I believe we have taken a significant step towards justice for Jessica," Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said on Wednesday during a press conference.

Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey added that charges are forthcoming and will be filed within the next few days as the investigation continues.

"Justice for Jessica is a process, and this is the beginning of the process," Storey said Wednesday during the press conference.

9NEWS Investigative Reporter Jeremy Jojola was able to speak with Sigg's mother, but she did not want to comment on his arrest.

Westminster Police said in a press release Wednesday:
"Late Tuesday evening, police received a call that led them to a home near the Ketner Lake Open Space. With this discovery, police [announce] they made an arrest in the Ridgeway murder investigation. Additionally, authorities will file charges against the attacker in the May 28, 2012 attempted abduction at Ketner Lake."

The teen suspect, accused of the murder of Jessica Ridgeway, was interested in mortuary science, according to 9Wants To Know sources.

Sigg is enrolled at Arapahoe Community College, which has Colorado's only accredited mortuary-science program.

The ACC mortuary-science program prepares students to be funeral directors, embalmers and morticians.

Sigg, who is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds, was arrested Tuesday evening.

Sources tell 9NEWS the mother of the suspect somehow found out about the teen's possible involvement in Jessica Ridgeway's disappearance. She called the police Tuesday night to turn him in.

The suspect's parents divorced in 2000.

Birk thanked the community for the thousands of tips they provided to police.

Governor John Hickenlooper released a statement in response to the suspect's arrest:

"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."

Sigg is scheduled for his first court appearance on Oct. 25 at 8 a.m.

Westminster Police announced on Monday evening there is a direct link between the Memorial Day attempted abduction at Ketner Lake and the Jessica Ridgeway murder case.

Over the Memorial Day weekend police say a jogger was attacked from behind at Ketner Lake by a man who used a chemical-soaked rag to try and subdue her. The woman fought off her would-be abductor.

For days, police spoke of a possible connection between the Ketner Lake incident and the Jessica Ridgeway kidnapping, but it wasn't until Monday that they officially linked the two cases.

Monday evening, police also told 9NEWS that they have ruled out other evidence that has been recovered as they investigate the Ridgeway case.

Most notably, police say some grocery receipts for garbage bags that were discovered after Ridgeway's body was found are not related to the case.

Meanwhile, investigators are still testing potential evidence that was found by a woman at Pattridge Park on Sunday.

The woman reported to police that she found a "clump of hair" while walking in a field.

Police collected that item and say they are not certain it is hair and are waiting for further testing to determine if it's relevant to the Ridgeway investigation.


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