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Authorities launch new search for missing 10-year-old in Colorado

 

Police in Colorado say they are launching two searches Monday in the hunt for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.

Police say a fairly large group will be conducting an open-area search in the surrounding areas around Westminster, Colo., including the Eldorado Canyon. A second group will continue searching and canvassing the neighborhood around Ridgeway's home.

Nearly 125 people and 12 agencies are participating in the search, police say. Search dogs also will be used.

Ridgeway was reported missing Friday. She was last seen walking to a park where she normally meets classmates before school. A backpack believed to belong to Ridgeway was found about 6 miles from her home on Sunday.

Police would not discuss the contents of the bag.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation has entered the case and is conducting DNA sampling of the missing girl's backpack and its contents.

Police in the nearby suburb of Arvada are investigating whether the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway is connected to two child enticement cases. The police are looking for a suspect in cases on Sept. 9 and Sept. 12  involving a man who tried to lure two boys, around the same age as Jessica, into a car.

There are no persons of interest at this time in the investigation into Ridgeway's disappearance, police say.

Police encouraged residents to pass out fliers with Jessica's picture on them and urge anyone with information to call the police tip line at (303) 658-4336 or e-mail pdamberalert@cityofwestminster.us.

Fox News' Alicia Acuna, Faith Mangan and Kelly Burke contributed to this report.