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Jessica Ridgeway’s family asks foundation to stop using girl’s image

ridgeway_10612.jpg

This image provided by the Westminster Colorado Police Department shows 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. (AP/Westminster Colorado Police Department)

A Denver foundation for missing children created after Jessica Ridgeway vanished last month agreed to stop using her image for fundraising efforts after the girl’s family threatened legal action, KDVR.com reported.

The Ridgeway family served the Colorado Missing Children’s Foundation a cease and desist letter.

The letter claims that Jessica’s name is being used repeatedly by the foundation both on its website and on a Facebook fundraiser scheduled for Saturday called the Purple Ribbon Tattoo Event.

"The family has tried to address this issue with you informally by repeatedly asking you to stop using Jessica's name as a fundraising tool for your organization," the letter read. "You have not respected the family's wishes and are continuing to make money off of Jessica’s name."

The foundation's website has numerous photos of Ridgeway and fliers for the Light Up the Night for Jessica event that took place the week she disappeared.

The Colorado Missing Children's Foundation, which is comprised of a group of 10 friends, reportedly raised about $6,000 and gave the Ridgeway family more than $2,800.

Melissa Harding, a spokeswoman for the foundation, said the family raised the issue only after the money flow ebbed.

Jessica  was last seen walking down a quiet street in her modest Westminster neighborhood Oct. 5. Her backpack was found three days later in Superior, another Denver suburb about 7 miles northwest of her home.

The suspect, 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg, made his first court appearance last week. Authorities said they have "overwhelming" DNA evidence against Sigg.

In the meantime, the foundation members claimed they filed paperwork with the secretary of state on Friday, but the paperwork had not appeared on the secretary of state’s website as of Wednesday, KDVR.com reported.

Click for more from KDVR.com

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