Jessica Ridgeway, the 10-year old girl who went missing in Colorado on Friday morning, has a lot of people searching for her. The teams--over 100 volunteers--are now expanding their search area after her backpack was found in a neighborhood over six miles from her home.
Jessica was last seen walking to school on Friday morning; her mother, who works the night shift, went to bed and never knew that her daughter didn't make it to class. A phone call from school officials that afternoon, letting her know that Jessica had been absent, was the first clue she had that something wasn't right. A search was immediately organized, but now the party is expanding the area to include open fields between Westminster--where she's from--and Superior.
On Saturday night, a man and his wife left their home a little before seven. When they returned after midnight, they noticed a backpack near their house. Not knowing about the Amber Alert for Jessica, or thinking anything was unusual--there are several kids in the neighborhood--the couple ignored it until the next day, when it still hadn't been claimed. An investigation turned up a keychain and water bottle with Jessica's name on them, and the man posted to the town's listserv that he'd found someone's bag, hoping it would catch the attention of someone who knew the owner.
The message read: "Children's backpack. Found this morning on the side walk at Andrew Drive and Alpha Court. Water bottle has 'Jessica Ridgeway' name on it. Come and get it."
A reader recognized the name and pointed out the Amber Alert to the man, who called police.
Officials say they have no suspects in mind yet but will continue their search while hoping for the best. Anyone with any information, particularly about how the backpack came to rest where it was found, is urged to call 303-658-4336 or email PDamberalert@cityofwestminster.us.