Police: Body Found in Park During Search for Missing Girl
WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Authorities say that a body was found in a suburban Denver park on Wednesday afternoon during the search for a missing 10-year-old girl.
According to KDVR-TV in Denver, police say that they cannot confirm if the body found in Pattridge Park Open Space in Arvada was that of Jessica Ridgeway, who disappeared on her way to school on Friday morning around 8 a.m.
The park is located about 4 1/2 miles from Ridgeway’s home in Westminster. The body was discovered by police and FBI agents near what was described as an abandoned mining shack.
Authorities say that investigators will be combing over the scene throughout the night.
There is another press conference scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Thursday. Watch it live.
The news comes after investigators cleared Ridgeway’s parents in the child’s disappearance and officially called the disappearance an abduction.
“After thoroughly looking at the parents, we’re confident they are not involved in the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway,” Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso said.
According to KDVR-TV in Denver, the information came at a short, late afternoon news conference Wednesday.
“The focus shifts to an unknown suspect as we think that she was abducted,” Materasso said.
He would not specify what led to police clearing the parents. But he did mention ways that could clear them include use of polygraph tests and/or speaking to people who could verify their whereabouts when Jessica went missing.
Westminster police have received tips from all over the United States. “This is getting national attention,” Materasso says. The Westminster police department is working with law enforcement agencies in several states where tips have come from.