When 10-year old Jessica Ridgeway went missing on her way to school on October 5th in Colorado, the story garnered thousands of supporters all hoping she would be found alive and well.
Unfortunately, her body was found on October 10th; horrifyingly, it was not intact. The police immediately knew they had a different sort of suspect on their hands and began a search that would lead them just a mile away from Jessica’s home, to the residence of a 17-year old boy whose mother phoned in a tip. He later turned himself in.
Austin Lee Sigg is now in custody and awaiting his court date, but officials aren’t releasing many details. They do say, however, that they have evidence which links him to an attempted attack on a young woman who was running in a nearby park in May, and he will be charged in that case as well. The woman said she was jumped from behind and had something forced over her mouth which smelled strongly of chemicals, but managed to fight off her attacker.
Little is known about Sigg, other than that he is noted as a quiet boy often seen on his skateboard or scooter by neighbors. Interestingly, he apparently took second place in the Crime Scene Investigation division of the Health Occupation Students of America State Leadership conference competition at his school.
Police say they hope the arrest will help Jessica’s family gain a bit of closure and peace after such a harrowing month; Governor John Hickenlooper also spoke about the family’s loss and about the toll the murder has taken on the community.
“Every parent in every Colorado community will rest a little easier tonight,” he said. “While we still mourn the death of Jessica Ridgeway, we are relieved an arrest has been made and the pursuit of justice can continue.”