Jessica Ridgeway predator search: Could killer have attended her memorial service?
Update 12:51 p.m. October 11: The latest update from the Westminster Police Department in regard to the search for Jessica Ridgeway is a shocking one.
Spokesman Trevor Materasso says the identification of a body found in Arvada yesterday is being delayed because it was "not intact."
What exactly that means hasn't been specified. But at this point, Ridgeway's family is reportedly being kept up to date with developments. Authorities hope to identify the Arvada body by Friday afternoon.
In the meantime, the investigation continues, and so does the uncertainty. Continue for our previous coverage.
Update, 6:56 a.m. October 11: Folks who thought we'd know at this writing whether a body discovered in an Arvada open space area was Jessica Ridgeway, a missing ten-year-old Westminster girl, were no doubt surprised by the just-concluded press briefing on the case. And brief it was: Westminster Police Department spokesman Trevor Materasso took no questions and left the matter of the body's identity unaddressed during his minute or so before the mic.
In an announcement that got underway at 6:45 a.m., fifteen minutes later than scheduled, Materasso noted that authorities would continue to process the territory where the body was discovered yesterday -- Pattridge Park open space area in Arvada -- with road closures nearby to continue. He added that searchers would be combing some open space areas in the vicinity of Westminster as well. Moreover, he advised the media to keep an eye out on Twitter for information about future news conferences and announcements. And that was pretty much it.
The results leave plenty of unknowns lingering. But at least the worst possibilities are yet to be confirmed. Continue to read our previous coverage.
Update, 5:35 a.m. October 11: Last night, police searching for Jessica Ridgeway, a ten-year-old Westminster girl who's been missing since Friday (see our previous coverage below), announced that a body had been found in an open space area of Arvada. Spokespersons have not identified the remains as Ridgeway at this writing, but a news conference is scheduled for 6:30 a.m., at which point we expect to learn more about this terrible case.
The body was found in an area known as Pattridge Park; it's not far from Highway 93, north of Golden. Helicopters affiliated with CBS4 and other news stations caught images of officers processing what appears to be a crime scene.
During yesterday's 7:30 p.m. news conference, Westminster Police Department public-information officer Trevor Materasso (one of the best in the business, in our experience) was careful not to hint at the identity of the body, or to provide any specific information. "At this time we're unable to make any connection to the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway," he said.
An image of officers with what appears to be human remains, as shot from the CBS4 helicopter.
Nonetheless, Twitter immediately blew up after the press conference, with thousands of people not only in Colorado but across the country as a whole expressing their hope that the body doesn't turn out to be Ridgeway, while noting that a tragedy for some family has clearly taken place.
The folks at the Missing Jessica Ridgeway Facebook page are doing their best to keep the faith. There are numerous posts overnight about keeping up the search and continuing to pray. But one person has shared a "stranger danger" tip sheet assembled by the Westminster PD, and another left this heartfelt message:
As we sit in Command waiting to hear anything, our precious babies 3, 4 and 5 year olds are sweetly praying with each other for Jessica to come home safely and quickly. From the mouths of babes. If this doesn't bring a tear to your eyes....We'll update this post with any news from the press conference, slated to get underway less than an hour from now. In the meantime, here's the latest CBS4 report, followed by the "stranger danger" release: