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Colorado police discover body in search for Jessica Ridgeway

Colorado police who have been searching for a missing 10-year-old girl since Friday said they found a body in the vicinity of where the girl went missing.

As of Thursday morning, police were unable to confirm that the body belongs to Jessica Ridgeway. The body was found in Pattridge Park Open Space late Wednesday near an abandoned mining shack, KDVR.com reported. 

Thursday evening the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit released a list of changes that a person committing a crime against a child would exhibit. Among them: sudden differences in appearance, missed appointments, being absent from work, or leaving town with no explanation.

An FBI spokesman says the suspect could "be your boss, your friend" or a family member. Police have ruled out Jessica's parents.

SUMMARY

  • Jessica Ridgeway disappeared on Friday morning on her way to school
  • Police recovered her backpack six miles away from her home
  • Authorities found a body during the search, but would not confirm it belongs to the missing girl
  • Residents have been using social media websites to promote the search effort for the girl

 

Authorities determined that Ridgeway, a fifth-grader with blond hair, was kidnapped by an unknown suspect on her way to school. The only real clue police have revealed is the discovery of a backpack and water bottle that Ridgeway had with her six miles from her home.

The multi-agency search for the girl was assisted by a social media push that had #JessicaRidgeway trending on Twitter. Police said they received hundreds of tips and reported sightings of the girl in states ranging from Maine to Nevada.

On Wednesday, about 25 deputies arrived by bus and fanned out across Jessica's neighborhood, scouring bushes and front yards.

Divers again searched ponds in what Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso described as a "precautionary measure." Police have isolated trash from Ridgeway's neighborhood at a landfill -- but will search there only if the investigation points them in that direction.

Critical was an initial delay in reporting Ridgeway missing. Many child abduction cases or Amber Alerts are resolved within hours of a report, as was the case in a Wyoming abduction Monday.

Sarah Ridgeway said her daughter woke up at 7:45 a.m. Friday as usual and ate a granola bar before leaving to meet friends at a park about a block away for their walk to Witt Elementary School. Police say Sarah Ridgeway, a night-shift worker, was asleep and missed a call from school reporting Jessica absent.

She got the message when she woke at about 4 p.m., eight hours after she said her daughter left the house.

Sarah Ridgeway checked the park, Ridgeway's friends and the school before calling police. Ridgeway never even met her friends that morning.

Click for more from KDVR.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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