Westminster police say that a wooden cross found by investigators in the Jessica Ridgeway case could be a pivotal piece of evidence that helps authorities identify the 10-year-old girl's killer.
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - The Jefferson County coroner's office has finished its autopsy on 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, who was abducted blocks from her home and found dead last week.
However, the report on her cause of death may take weeks.
That's because coroner John Graham told 7NEWS he is waiting for blood work and chemical tests results.
The girl's remains were found last Wednesday at an Arvada open space park. Police said the body was not "intact." Sources told 7NEWS her body had been dismembered and pieces of her body are still missing.
AirTracker 7 flew over the area shortly after the body was discovered. AirTracker video showed that the remains were found near a culvert, and had been placed on a black plastic bag when investigators were looking at it. It's not clear if the body had been in the bag.
The remains were found by maintenance workers who were doing routine cleanup of the culvert.
Ridgeway disappeared Oct. 5 as she was walking to meet up with friends at Chelsea Park so they could all walk to school together. The park is several blocks from her home. Her friends said she never showed up at the park and the school reported her absence to her mother that morning.
However, Jessica's mother, who had been working the night shift, slept through the calls and didn't realize her daughter was missing until 4 p.m.
Hundreds of investigators are working the case, trying to find Jessica's killer.
Investigators are now working their way through nearly 4,000 tips and encourage anyone with any information to come forward. A tip from the community could break the case, authorities said.
FBI spokesman Dave Joly said the suspect could "be your boss, your friend" or a family member.
The FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit said that often, someone in the community will unknowingly be associated with the offender of the crime, and may be in a position to observe behavioral changes in that person.
They will recognize the changes, and may even question the person about it, but may not relate the changes to that person’s involvement in the crime.
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