Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Clear
40°
Clear
Hi 54° | Lo 38°

FBI appeals for help in search for missing girl

24 light one line goes here

  • Police search near an area where a body was found Wednesday in Parttridge Park, in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.  Police are not saying whether the body found is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

    Police search near an area where a body was found Wednesday in Parttridge Park, in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Police are not saying whether the body found is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • Police search near the 9800 block of Alkire St. on the west side of Stanley Lake in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.  Police are not saying whether a body found in Pattridge Park on Wednesday is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

    Police search near the 9800 block of Alkire St. on the west side of Stanley Lake in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Police are not saying whether a body found in Pattridge Park on Wednesday is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • In an image from a Sept. 28, 2012 surveillance video provided by the Fanwood, NJ Police Department, a woman walks down a sidewalk in Fanwood, N.J. carrying a wedding dress. Police believe the woman stole the wedding dress, valued at $5,000 from Seng Couture on South Avenue in Fanwood. The Fanwood Police Department is looking for help from the public in identifying this person. (AP Photo/Fanwood Police Department)

    In an image from a Sept. 28, 2012 surveillance video provided by the Fanwood, NJ Police Department, a woman walks down a sidewalk in Fanwood, N.J. carrying a wedding dress. Police believe the woman stole the wedding dress, valued at $5,000 from Seng Couture on South Avenue in Fanwood. The Fanwood Police Department is looking for help from the public in identifying this person. (AP Photo/Fanwood Police Department)

  • Arvada Police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan, left, and Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso, right, address the media regarding a body found lat Wednesday in Parttridge Park in Arvada during a press conference at the Westminister Police Department Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 in Westminister, Colo. The search missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway will continue, police said Thursday.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

    Arvada Police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan, left, and Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso, right, address the media regarding a body found lat Wednesday in Parttridge Park in Arvada during a press conference at the Westminister Police Department Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 in Westminister, Colo. The search missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway will continue, police said Thursday. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • Police search near an area where a body was found Wednesday in Parttridge Park, in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.  Police are not saying whether the body found is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

    Police search near an area where a body was found Wednesday in Parttridge Park, in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Police are not saying whether the body found is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • Police walk the streets looking for clues in the search for ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway near her home in Westminster, Colo., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The youngster has been missing since she left her home Friday morning on her way to school. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    Police walk the streets looking for clues in the search for ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway near her home in Westminster, Colo., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The youngster has been missing since she left her home Friday morning on her way to school. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Arvada Police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan, left, and Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso, right, address the media regarding a body found lat Wednesday in Parttridge Park in Arvada during a press conference at the Westminister Police Department Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 in Westminister, Colo. The search missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway will continue, police said Thursday.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

    Arvada Police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan, left, and Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso, right, address the media regarding a body found lat Wednesday in Parttridge Park in Arvada during a press conference at the Westminister Police Department Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 in Westminister, Colo. The search missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway will continue, police said Thursday. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)

  • This image provided by the Westminster Colorado Police Department shows Jessica Ridgeway. Authorities looking for the 10-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared days ago after leaving for school are planning to finish scouring open fields and resume searching the fifth-grader's suburban Denver neighborhood on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department)

    This image provided by the Westminster Colorado Police Department shows Jessica Ridgeway. Authorities looking for the 10-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared days ago after leaving for school are planning to finish scouring open fields and resume searching the fifth-grader's suburban Denver neighborhood on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department)

  • This image provided by the Westminster Colorado Police Department shows Jessica Ridgeway. Authorities looking for the 10-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared days ago after leaving for school are planning to finish scouring open fields and resume searching the fifth-grader's suburban Denver neighborhood on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department)

    This image provided by the Westminster Colorado Police Department shows Jessica Ridgeway. Authorities looking for the 10-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared days ago after leaving for school are planning to finish scouring open fields and resume searching the fifth-grader's suburban Denver neighborhood on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department)

  • A missing person sign is posted on a lamp post near the home of ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway where police continue to search for the missing girl in Westminster, Colo., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The youngster has been missing since she left her home Friday morning on her way to school. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

    A missing person sign is posted on a lamp post near the home of ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway where police continue to search for the missing girl in Westminster, Colo., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The youngster has been missing since she left her home Friday morning on her way to school. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

  • Police search near an area where a body was found Wednesday in Parttridge Park, in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.  Police are not saying whether the body found is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
  • Police search near the 9800 block of Alkire St. on the west side of Stanley Lake in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.  Police are not saying whether a body found in Pattridge Park on Wednesday is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
  • In an image from a Sept. 28, 2012 surveillance video provided by the Fanwood, NJ Police Department, a woman walks down a sidewalk in Fanwood, N.J. carrying a wedding dress. Police believe the woman stole the wedding dress, valued at $5,000 from Seng Couture on South Avenue in Fanwood. The Fanwood Police Department is looking for help from the public in identifying this person. (AP Photo/Fanwood Police Department)
  • Arvada Police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan, left, and Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso, right, address the media regarding a body found lat Wednesday in Parttridge Park in Arvada during a press conference at the Westminister Police Department Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 in Westminister, Colo. The search missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway will continue, police said Thursday.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
  • Police search near an area where a body was found Wednesday in Parttridge Park, in Arvada, Colo., during the ongoing search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012.  Police are not saying whether the body found is linked to the missing girl case and noted Thursday that officers are still searching for Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
  • Police walk the streets looking for clues in the search for ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway near her home in Westminster, Colo., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The youngster has been missing since she left her home Friday morning on her way to school. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)
  • Arvada Police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan, left, and Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso, right, address the media regarding a body found lat Wednesday in Parttridge Park in Arvada during a press conference at the Westminister Police Department Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 in Westminister, Colo. The search missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway will continue, police said Thursday.  (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
  • This image provided by the Westminster Colorado Police Department shows Jessica Ridgeway. Authorities looking for the 10-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared days ago after leaving for school are planning to finish scouring open fields and resume searching the fifth-grader's suburban Denver neighborhood on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department)
  • This image provided by the Westminster Colorado Police Department shows Jessica Ridgeway. Authorities looking for the 10-year-old Colorado girl who disappeared days ago after leaving for school are planning to finish scouring open fields and resume searching the fifth-grader's suburban Denver neighborhood on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Westminster Colorado Police Department)
  • A missing person sign is posted on a lamp post near the home of ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway where police continue to search for the missing girl in Westminster, Colo., on Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012. The youngster has been missing since she left her home Friday morning on her way to school. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Police have yet to link the body found seven miles from Jessica Ridgeway’s home to her Oct. 5 disappearance, or even say if it belongs to a child. Jessica disappeared after leaving home to meet friends at a park for her walk to school.

On Thursday, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit released a list of changes that a person committing a crime against a child would exhibit. Among them: sudden differences in appearance, missed appointments, being absent from work, or leaving town with no explanation. Police have ruled out Jessica’s parents.

“It could be your boss, it could be your friend, and ultimately it could be your family member,” FBI spokesman Dave Joly said. “Bring this information to law enforcement and let us vet that to a close. If that person is not the suspect, ‘Thank you for your call.’ Next lead.”

Joly said agents are searching for a man based on statistics for this type of crime.

The latest appeal for help comes as authorities switch from searching for Jessica to finding her abductor. Police looked for clues in a reported sighting of a car with Colorado plates in Maine and a Wyoming abduction. The FBI said that abduction was unrelated.

Police spokesman Trevor Materasso said the body discovered late Wednesday “is not intact,” and that has slowed the work of identification. Materasso said no other information would be released until Friday, and he left a brief midday news conference without answering any questions.

The body was found at Pattridge Park in the Denver suburb of Arvada, which is near Westminster, where Jessica disappeared.

In tweets, Westminster police said investigators had worked overnight to identify the body. Officers searched more of the park Thursday as well as areas closer to Jessica’s home. Police said photo radar vans — normally used to detect and photograph speeding vehicles — were being used to monitor some streets around the girl’s house.

Police have ruled out her parents — Sarah Ridgeway, who lives in Colorado, and Jeremiah Bryant, who lives in Missouri — as suspects and have said they believe Jessica was kidnapped by an “unknown suspect.”

Jessica’s mother last saw her daughter walking to school. The girl never arrived, setting off a frantic search by hundreds of law enforcement officials and residents.

Aurelio Florez, who has lived in Jessica’s neighborhood for six years, said it was shocking that Jessica could have vanished during a two-block walk to a park where she usually met friends before continuing on to school.

“You can see the park from her front door,” he said.

Fliers about the fifth-grader were posted on nearly every house in her neighborhood of modest, two-story homes with single-car garages. Purple ribbons, a symbol of hope for her return, were tied around trees.

It was a lively area where children played outdoors, said another neighbor, Luis Pena, but since Jessica disappeared, parents are keeping their children inside and people look at each other with suspicion.

“Nobody trusts anybody anymore,” he said.

The only real clue police have revealed in Jessica’s disappearance is the discovery over the weekend of a backpack and water bottle that she had with her when she disappeared. Police won’t discuss what was found in the bag or test results on it.

The items were found in the town of Superior, some six miles from Jessica’s home.

Westminster police repeatedly have urged the public to study the details of Jessica’s face in a photo — a small, gap-toothed grin, a slight bruise on her nose — and a short home video, hoping someone may have seen something.

Additional police were sent to Jessica’s school, said Lynn Setzer, spokeswoman for Jeffco Public Schools. The district has its own security officers at other middle schools and high schools.

Steve Saunders, a spokesman for nearby Adams County schools, said the district is trying to strike a balance between reassuring students and their parents that they are safe, while encouraging them to be vigilant.

Saunders said the district has security officers at all middle schools and high schools, but not elementary schools. He said the district will seek more help if authorities believe it is warranted.

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.