Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police: Suspect Confessed to Ridgeway Murder

Update: Thursday night, after serving a warrant on the Sigg home, authorities announced that they had overwhelming DNA evidence tying Austin Reed Sigg to Jessica Ridgeway. Today they announced that Sigg confessed to the ten year old’s murder. The Colorado teen made his first court appearance on October 25, 2012, accompanied by his mother, Mindy Sigg. To clear up some confusion about his October 23 arrest, the AP reportedly phoned Sigg’s mother yesterday who confirmed, before bursting into tears and hanging up, that she had called police, and that her son had turned himself in. District Attorney Scott Storey announced that though Sigg, 17, will be tried as an adult for the murder of Jessica Ridgeway, and the attempted abduction of a 22-year-old woman over Memorial Day weekend at Lake Ketner, Colorado law bars him from requesting the death penalty of a minor.

For more on the arrest of Austin Sigg read below.

Update: Police Make Arrest in Jessica Ridgeway Murder

Austin Sigg

Austin Reed Sigg

At about 1:15 p.m. Mountain Time, October 24, 2012, police formally announced an arrest in the Jessica Ridgway abduction murder case. Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk and Jefferson County D.A. Scott Storey thanked the FBI and the CBI for their involvement in the case, as well as every individual who phoned in a tip which led to the arrest of Austin Sigg, 17, a minor, of Westminster, Colorado. Police, who have been working nonstop since Jessica’s October 5 abduction, received no less than 10,000 tips in the case, which served to encourage them, as well as to solve the case. In fact, police were led to Sigg’s home by a tip, which led to his arrest on Tuesday night. The Ridgeway family was notified this morning of the arrest, and Birk said that he hopes that this arrest would bring them some closure, though, he stressed, the investigation is not over.

The media were told that the suspect is a minor, and affidavits have been sealed in this case by court order, so there is very little information that can be released. Even so, investigators hope that the public can still give them information about Sigg via the tip line 303-658-4336. They have released a photograph of Sigg and are hoping that seeing it will jog someone’s memory about an incident, or detail that might not yet have some to light, and prompt them to call the tip line. Formal charges will be filed in the next couple of days, and at this time it looks like Sigg will be facing 2 counts in the Ridgeway case, first-degree murder and kidnapping, and criminal attempt murder and kidnapping in the Ketner Lake assault. Given his age and the seriousness of the charges, he may be tried as an adult.

Spokesman Trevor Materasso announced that police are serving a warrant on a home, he did not specify, but reports indicate that the home being searched is Sigg’s. Police are most likely searching for any forensic evidence that would tie Jessica’s murder to the suspect’s home.

The Denver Channel reports that according to the Custody Report released to the media, the suspect was cooperative with police and he waived his rights, so it’s likely that police were able to interview him. Though, Materasso stressed several times during the press conference that, they are legally bound not to release much of the information that they have, saying, “This is a continuing investigation. We are still focusing on the integrity of the investigation.” Sigg is scheduled to appear in Jefferson County Court tomorrow at 8 am. It is not clear whether or not he has an attorney.

Again, anyone with information about the suspect that could be relevant to this ongoing investigation is strongly urged to call the tip line at 303-658-4336.

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