Suspect, 17, Arrested in Jessica Ridgeway's Abduction, Killing
Colorado authorities announced Wednesday a suspect has been arrested in the abduction and killing of Jessica Ridgeway, 10, who made national headlines as her community in Westminster, Colo., conducted frantic searches for her.
The suspect was identified as 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg. Police said in a press release that they received a call on Tuesday night that led them to a home near Ketner Lake where they arrested Sigg.
Ridgeway disappeared Oct. 5 and her body was found five days later in a field at a park.
Police said Ridgeway’s killing may be connected to a May kidnapping attempt in which a woman fought off a stranger who grabbed her from behind and put a rag over her mouth that smelled of chemicals.
The 22-year-old woman was jogging when a man attacked her May 28, Memorial Day, authorities said. It happened at a lake near the Westminster elementary school where Ridgeway was headed when she disappeared Oct. 5.
Police didn't say why they believe the two cases are related. But Westminster investigator Trevor Materasso said Tuesday authorities are looking for a suspect in both attacks who they describe as a "light-skinned man" between 18 and his mid-30s of average height and build.
"That's starting to create a black-and-white silhouette that, with evidence, we'll eventually be able to put a face to," Materasso said.
The jogger attack happened at Ketner Lake. Several trails leading to the lake and a surrounding open-space park are across the street from Witt Elementary School, where Jessica was headed when she was abducted.
Police said the man who attacked the jogger put a rag that smelled of chemicals over her mouth, but she managed to fight him off. Materasso said investigators haven't been able to determine if the substance on the rag was meant to subdue the woman.
"It could have been a rag from a garage or something," Materasso said.
Based on the proximity of the two cases, investigators believe the suspect is familiar with the area, either because he lived in the neighborhood in the past, has friends or family there, or has frequented the area for business or recreation.