Search for Jessica Ridgeway intensifies, no sign of 10-year-old found
WESTMINSTER, Colo. — The search for 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway turned more urgent Monday.
An army of local, state and federal investigators fanned out on foot, in the air and on horseback near her home and six miles away in Superior.
By the time darkness fell Monday night, there was still no sign of the little girl who her mother says was last seen as she walked away from home Friday morning to meet friends for the walk to School.
Westminster are expected to update their progress on the case at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. You watch the news conference on FOX31′s Good Day Colorado, or watch the live video stream on KDVR.com.
Jessica lives near 107th Ave. and Moore St. She attends school at Witt Elementary school. She never made it there Friday.
The school called her mother, Sarah Ridgeway, at about 10 a.m. to report the girl absent. Sarah didn’t hear the message until 4:30 p.m. She works night and she was asleep when the phone call came.
Police say the search for Jessica wrapped up Monday with no significant leads. “We really want the community to recognize you are going to see a number of police out in open areas out in open spaces,” says Westminster police spokesman investigator Trevor Materasso.
Searchers spread out all over Jefferson County, including parts of Superior where police say they found Jessica’s backpack on Sunday. They say a water bottle with her name on it was in the backpack, which was sitting on a sidewalk in a Superior neighborhood.
The backpack was at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Monday, undergoing crime lab tests that police hope could provide a break in the case.
“There’s a lot of focus on the backpack,” Materasso says. “It is a pivotal piece in the investigation.”
Around Westminster, it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing Jessica’s name, picture or flyer.
Thirteen different law enforcement agencies worked on Jessica’s case Monday.
A new, remote control helicopter designed by a company in Golden was put into use. It’s able to send live, high definition video back to a monitor on the ground while flying over areas that are hard for searchers to reach.
“We have a tremendous number of agencies, we can’t begin to describe the support,” Materasso says.
Police also say support is coming from the community thanks to a 24-hour phone tip line. That phone number is 303-658-4336.
As the search heads into Tuesday, police say they still need help and answers to get Jessica home.