WESTMINSTER, Colo. – Police investigating the abduction and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway are searching for the owner of a small wooden cross found during the investigation.
Police Friday did not say where the 1-1/2 inch-by-1-inch cross with an offset horizontal bar was found or why it might be associated with the case. Police released pictures and asked the public for information about anyone seen with such a cross or businesses that sell it.
The cross can be worn as a necklace.
Police have no suspects in Jessica's Oct. 5 abduction and slaying. Investigators believe an attempted abduction May 28 at Ketner Lake in Jessica's neighborhood may be related.
A 22-year-old woman reported that a man grabbed her from behind and placed a rag with a chemical smell over her face.
Authorities have been tight-lipped about the investigation since they announced a week ago that a body found on the edge of town belonged to Jessica.
The girl was last seen alive walking down a quiet street in her modest Westminster neighborhood Oct. 5. Her school backpack was found three days later in Superior, another Denver suburb about seven miles northwest of her home.
Jessica's body was found Oct. 10, the same day authorities ruled out her parents as suspects in her disappearance. Her body was found along a remote road that locals say few knew about.
Authorities usually are reserved in what they say to the public, out of concern for causing unnecessary alarm. But they issued a statement last week advising residents to be suspicious of their bosses, friends and family members.
Authorities asked the public to keep an eye out for people exhibiting unusual behavior -- like leaving town unexpectedly, missing appointments, consuming unusual amounts of alcohol or changing their appearance. The idea was that the killer would not be able to act normally after committing the crime.
"They may have no suspects," said Kenneth Lanning, a retired FBI behavior analyst in Fredericksburg, Va., who is now a consultant specializing in crimes against children. "But likely at this point, they have so many suspects and now they're trying to sort through them."
Lanning is not involved in the Colorado case but described such investigations as multi-track efforts, with volunteers and deputies searching homes, bushes, drainages and open space near the child's house while investigators develop a criminal case.
Police likely are pouring through hours of surveillance video taken at banks, gas stations, government buildings and elsewhere, Lanning said.