Law enforcement officials say the body found in an open space in Arvada, CO is that of missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. They made the announcement during a press conference on Friday afternoon, a week after she went missing.
"It is with a great deal of sorrow in my heart that I regret to inform you that the body that was found in Arvada has been positively identified as Jessica Ridgeway, the missing girl from Westminster," said Chief Lee Birk, Westminster Police Department. "The family has been notified, we can't begin to comprehend the grief that they're going through. I want the family to know, from 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."
Law enforcement will now focus their search on finding the person responsible for her murder. "The most important thing that we can do now, our priority now, is the investigation, the apprehension, and the prosecution of the person that did this," said Scott Storey, Jefferson County District Attorney. "Bringing the person to justice. So as a result, we will not be talking to you. We will not be answering any questions. Because the investigation and bringing this, whoever it is to justice is the priority, and I know you understand that."
Thursday, law enforcement told media the body found in Arvada, CO was not fully intact. "This is extending the length of time it's taking the investigation to positively identify who that body is," said Trevor Materasso, Westminster Police Department.
Jessica Ridgeway was walking to a friend's house on her way to school on October 5th when she went missing. Her backpack was found the Sunday after in Superior, CO, just a few miles from her neighborhood.
"It's still just as important that they utilize the tip line to provide any information they can that's going to help in this investigation," said Materasso. If you have any information please call 303-658-4336.