The arraignment for the teenager accused of killing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway in Westminster, Colorado was postponed until April 12, a Jefferson County courts spokesman said.
Photographer: Westminster Police Department
WESTMINSTER, Colo. - 12 different agencies are cooperating on two simultaneous searches for a missing 10-year-old Westminster girl.
Jessica Ridgeway was last seen walking to Chelsea Park in the area of 107th Avenue and Moore Street around 8:30 a.m. Friday, where she was to meet several friends before walking to Witt Elementary School. Jessica's mother stood in the front yard of their home at 10768 Moore St. until her daughter was out of sight.
Jessica never showed up at the park or at school.
Westminster Police Department spokesman Trevor Matterasso said officers with dogs will search the neighborhood near Jessica's home again Monday.
“Every search is crucial, that’s why we’re conducting those and that’s why we’re repeating. We’re still in Jessica’s neighborhood, obviously. That area has been searched. Areas are being searched a second and third time. We’re focusing on the area she was last seen in and again we’re focusing on the area where that backpack was found," Matterasso said.
Additionally, Matterasso said 125 searchers are looking in a triangular search area around the location where the girl's backpack was found over the weekend . That triangular area is defined by Highway 128, Highway 36 and Highway 93, including El Dorado Canyon.
Matterasso urged parents to speak with their children about Jessica's backpack, which was discovered near the intersection of Andrew Drive and Alpha Court in Superior.
“We don’t know when the bag was put there. Obviously over the weekend, kids were out of school. There is a chance that the kids may have gone by, playing, riding bikes. We want parents to talk to their kids about it," he said.
Erica Manuel's son sits next to Jessica in class. She is being honest with her son about what happened.
"Kids can't be kids anymore these days. They have to be constantly watched by adults and by themselves," she said.
Anyone who might have any information about Jessica's disappearance of current whereabouts is asked to contact police at 303-658-4336 or firstname.lastname@example.org . Matterasso said those tip lines have already received approximately 300 calls.
No volunteers are being accepted for the search Monday, but Matterasso said several were engaged in spreading fliers with Jessica's picture. He said it was vital that everyone focus on her physical features and not on her clothes.
“In the amount of time since [she was reported missing], there’s a likelihood that she has changed clothes," he said. "We’re asking people to really focus on Jessica, her facial features. If you see a flyer, really look at Jessica and burn that image so you remember what she looks like.”
There is currently no person of interest in the investigation, Matterasso said.
About Jessica's father, who lives in Kansas City, Matterasso said that there was a custody dispute but no members of the girl's family are suspected in the disappearance.
"He's devastated, so is mom, they're both absolutely beside themselves," Jessica's grandmother, Donna Moss, said Saturday. "If you see something or know something, please, please, please just call. Even if it's the wrong information, just call."
Asked about a tip that a suspicious van was seen in Jessica's neighborhood Friday morning, Matterasso said there was no indication that a random child abductor is on the loose.
Still, police are taking precautions. Matterasso said officers are stationed Monday at every elementary school in Westminster and surrounding communities.
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