Police confirm body found in Arvada is 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway

Posted on: 4:10 pm, October 12, 2012, by , updated on: 11:02pm, October 12, 2012

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Police announced Friday afternoon the body of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway has been found.

Jessica disappeared while on her way to school one week ago.

“Our focus has changed from a search for Jessica to a mission of justice for Jessica,” says Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk.

“You can’t begin to comprehend the grief that (the family) is going through,” he says. “I want the family to know that me and every single person involved in this case… that our thoughts and prayers go out to them and they’ve been in our hearts from the beginning.”

“There is a predator at large in our community. We are doing everything in our power to apprehend that predator,” Birk says. “We are doing everything in our power to keep our community and our children, our most precious commodity, safe.”

Officials urge parents to keep talking with their children about how to stay safe.

“This is an unthinkable end to an unthinkable crime in our community,” Governor JOHN Hickenlooper said in a statement following the news conference.

Workers picking up trash found her body in Pattridge Park Open Space in Arvada Wednesday afternoon. The body was identified using DNA tests.

Thursday, the FBI asked for the public’s help in finding the suspect who kidnapped Jessica. Click here to see a profile of the suspect and potential behaviors.

Jim Yacone of the FBI says the agency’s “commitment to seek justice will only grow.”

Yacone asked everyone to keep reporting tips to authorities. The FBI reiterated “we’ve eliminated the family and we’re looking for an abductor at this point.”

If you have any information regarding the investigation, Westminster police are asking you to call the tip line at 303-658-4336, or email PDamberalert@cityofwestminster.us.

READ MORE: Get real-time updates on the search for Jessica Ridgeway here