Unease noticeable throughout Denver during search for Jessica Ridgeway’s killer

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A little girl, an unspeakable crime, a family’s life changed forever.

A community has changed as well. “The vigil that the local community held and that was filled with adults and children.  Lots of people interviewed said we don’t know this family at all we’re just so horrified,” says Dr. Sheryl Ziegler, child psychologist.

It’s called the ripple effect. “It affects parents. They start to worry, wonder. It affects the older children who know about it,” says Ziegler.

And what about the group most likely affected, kids Jessica Ridgeway’s age? “It hits so close to home in terms of gender, age, situation.”

Anxiety knows no age limit either.  Parents are not immune. “I am walking my kid to school. I’m driving my kid to school. It’s probably the biggest one the last week or so. I’m just not taking any risk,” Dr. Ziegler says about parents.

Signs that your child might need a little help processing this information: “Nightmares, inability to fall asleep, change in appetite, change in mood, more clinginess to the parent,” says Dr. Ziegler.

Dr. Ziegler says you can certainly be safe without being scared. Listen to your kids, and don’t forget to listen to yourself.

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