Local media sources have confirmed on Thursday that Colorado police have found the body of missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway in a field a few miles from her home.
Jessica had been missing since Friday. Jessica’s mother, Sarah Ridgeway, notified police on Friday afternoon, around 4 pm, that her daughter never reported to school that day. Ms. Ridgeway, who works the night shift, told police that her daughter woke up around 7:45 am Friday morning, had breakfast and then met her friends at a nearby park before walking to school.
Ms. Ridgeway says the routine was typical for Jessica on a school morning. Ms. Ridgeway then went to sleep after working all night, sleeping through the school’s attempt to notify her that Jessica was absent. When Ms. Ridgeway woke up around 4 pm, she called police after contacting Jessica’s friends and finding out that Jessica never even made it as far as the park that morning.
Although Jessica’s parents were reportedly in a heated custody battle, police don’t believe either parent had anything to do with Jessica’s disappearance. Jessica’s father, Jeremiah Bryant, lives outside of Colorado, but doesn’t believe Sarah Ridgeway, Jessica’s mother, is capable of harming her daughter. Police have currently cleared both parents.
Jessica’s backpack was found on Sunday, six miles from where she vanished. Police said the backpack likely held important forensic clues.
On early Thursday, police found the body of what local reporters said was a young female child, near an abandoned mining shack near where they believe Jessica went missing. Although police refuse to confirm it’s the body of Jessica Ridgeway, Fox News Fox & Friends reported this morning that local media have said that her body has been positively identified as that of the missing girl.
Police and Jessica’s parents also believe her disappearance was perpetrated by a predator or kidnapper.