Mother of Missing Colorado Girl Speaks for First Time

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WESTMINSTER, Colo., — Four days after 10-year-Jessica Ridgeway was reported missing, her mother spoke with the media. On Tuesday, Sarah Ridgeway said after she learned her daughter was absent from school last Friday, she immediately went to search a nearby park, a friend’s house, her daughter’s school and then called police.

Two days later, after someone discovered Ridgeway’s backpack six miles away, Sarah Ridgeway said she wants to think it’s a good sign.

“A sliver of hope,” she said. “I figured, you know, if something really bad happened to her, they wouldn’t have gotten rid of the backpack just sitting there. It wouldn’t have been in plain sight. So there’s just that sliver of hope, but you never know.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Trevor Materasso with the Westminster Police Department said investigators wanted the public to pay close attention to what Ridgeway looks like — particularly her facial features including a gap in her two front teeth and a sore on her nose where her glasses sit. “That sore just doesn’t heal,” Materasso said. “That’s a good indicator. Those are two good things to pay attention to.”

Materasso also stressed that Ridgeway is not considered a runaway.

“As we learn more about Jessica, it’s more about an abduction than that she ran away,” he said, “and those are the details I can’t get into at this time.”

Ridgeway’s father lives in Independence, Mo., and has been cleared of any involvement in her disappearance. Her family in Missouri will hold a candle light vigil Wednesday at 6 p.m. at McCoy Park in Independence near 24 Hwy and Delaware Street.

If you have any information regarding the investigation, Westminster police are asking you to call the tip line at 303-658-4336, or email You can also find more information on a Facebook page that has been set up by Ridgeway’s family.

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