Police: Body discovered in Jessica Ridgeway search ‘not intact’
WESTMINSTER, Colo. — The body discovered in an Arvada open space area Wednesday as part of the search for missing Westminster 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway is “not intact,” police confirmed at an afternoon press conference.
Police hastily called the press conference Thursday, telling media outlets they were going to “answer a question that had been raised.” Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso began his address by acknowledging the fact that the media has helicopter footage that shows the discovered body is in pieces.
Materasso said he expects investigators will call another press conference with all of the agency heads who have been assisting with the search “sometime tomorrow.”
Police have still not identified the body they discovered in the Pattridge Park open space area in Arvada on Wednesday. Police have also not confirmed if the body is or is not Ridgeway’s.
“Westminster and Arvada (police) are jointly working to process that (Pattridge Park) crime scene,” Materasso said at a 6:45 a.m. press briefing Thursday. “As of this time, we’re not providing any additional information about that crime scene or the criminal investigation.”
During both of his press conferences Thursday, Materasso left without taking questions.
Materasso said all of the ongoing searches for Ridgeway will continue Thursday. The child was last scene leaving her house in Westminster on her walk to Witt Elementary School at 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 5.
The FBI and local police were combing the Pattridge Park open space area late Wednesday afternoon when the body was discovered at approximately 5 p.m. near an abandoned mining shack. There are many of such shacks in the area.
The park is in west Arvada — a little more than six miles from where Ridgeway was last seen, and about 11 miles south of the area in Superior where police discovered Ridgeway’s backpack and water bottle.
A crime scene has been established just north of 82nd Avenue between Indiana Street on the east and Highway 93 on the west. Highway 93 and 82nd Avenue were closed near Leyden Gulch during processing of the crime scene and both roadways remain closed Thursday.
Residents in the area will have to show an ID to get through road blocks.
The glum news comes after some good news that surfaced Wednesday, as reports came out of Maine that a girl matching Ridgeway’s description had been spotted in two different small towns in the state.
Police in New Hampshire also made a comment on the Ridgeway search Thursday, saying they towed a station wagon matching the description of the one spotted in Maine after finding it abandoned behind a Walmart in Portsmouth, N.H.