Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Update: Jessica Ridgeway Missing Child

A memorial to Jessica.

A memorial to Jessica

One week after the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway of Westminster, Colo., FBI, police and searchers, continue to look for the missing 10 year old. On October 11 searchers found a body in Pattridge Park in Arvada, which is about seven miles from where Jessica went missing on October 10, 2012. Late yesterday investigators announced that identification of the body would take some time because it was “not intact,” but would not elaborate further. In a statement by Dave Joly, of the local FBI office, FBI have asked the public to keep any eye out for a potential kidnapper, offering tips to any and everyone in the community saying, “Often, someone in the community will unknowingly be associated with the offender of the crime, and may be in a position to observe behavioral changes in that person. They will recognize the changes, and may even question the person about it, but may not relate the changes to that person’s involvement in the crime.” Joly concluded saying, “It could be your boss, it could be your friend, and ultimately it could be your family member. 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.”

Specifically, the behavioral changes include: sudden, unplanned absence from work, any excuse may be offered; missing all types of scheduled appointments and prior commitments; leaving town suddenly for any reason; expressing intense interest in the status of the investigation or just the opposite, changing the subject or turning off media accounts; Changes in alcohol and drug consumption; alterations in personal or vehicular appearance.

FBI investigators are also examining the possibility of a connection between Jessica’s disappearance and the October 8 abduction of an eleven-year-old girl from Cody, Montana, 500 miles away. The girl, whose identity is being protected since she was a victim of sexual assault, was with friends when a man in an SUV stopped and asked for help finding a lost puppy. One girl agreed to help and got in the front-passenger seat the SUV and rode off. Her friends called police 45 minutes later when she still had not returned. The Amber Alert was issued at 6:45 p.m. that night, and the child was found walking on a road outside Cody at 8:15. According to the police report, “[The girl] reported that when she approached the suspect vehicle, the suspect brandished a ‘pistol’ and directed her to get in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. The suspect then drove the victim onto Carter Mountain where he sexually assaulted her.” FBI have released a photo of the white 2004 or 2005 Toyota 4 door 4-Runner SUV (with or without the cargo box) believed to have been used in Jessica’s abduction. The SUV has grey leather type front seats, the back seat and luggage area were set up with bedding type materials. The suspect is a white male with short strawberry blonde or white hair, and well-trimmed facial hair. He is approximately 55-60 years of age, 6 feet tall and weighs 185 to 200 lbs. The suspect is armed and dangerous, and should not be approached. Instead, please contact law enforcement either in Cody (307-527-8700) or at the FBI national tip line at (1-800-225-5324).

Anyone with information about the case of Jessica Ridgeway is urged to call the Westminster Police Department at 303-658-2400.

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