Austin Reed Sigg is employed at Arapahoe Community College. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and a fourth felony charge.
WESTMINSTER, CO (KCTV) -
Authorities in Colorado have arrested a 17-year-old Colorado resident in connection with the abduction and slaying of Jessica Ridgeway.
Police were searching Wednesday night for part of Jessica's remains underneath the suspect's family home. Police have said Jessica's body was "not intact" when the remains were found in an open park area Oct. 10.
Austin Reed Sigg is employed at Arapahoe Community College and lived near Jessica. Prosecutors plan to file numerous charges against Sigg, including two counts of first-degree murder, second-degree kidnapping and charges related to an attempted kidnapping of a jogger in May.
Because of his age, a U.S. Supreme Court decision means Sigg cannot face the death penalty. This has disappointed Jessica's paternal family, who live in Independence, MO.
"I think it's all I've got within me not to just want to just burn him, and I mean burn him," Jessica's great-grandmother, Donna Moss, said Wednesday evening. "I meant literally lit him on fire. Send him to hell in a blaze of glory."
She said she has to fight the rage she feels and she knows as a Christian she should forgive.
"I'm really angry and really hurt this person has done this," she said.
Moss also fears a second person was involved, citing Sigg's surprising young age.
"My heart just goes out to his mother because I can't understand how it would have to feel to be the mother of a monster like him," Moss said.
Jessica's father, Jeremy Bryant, did not speak but was present when his grandmother and other family members spoke to the media Wednesday evening. Moss said Bryant is having a difficult time dealing with his daughter's death and is naturally experiencing overwhelming anger.
"You just take it one day at a time," she said.
Kathy Moss, Bryant's aunt, said she and Bryant wish they could take vengeance themselves.
"Let me have at him. Let me have at him and I will take care of justice myself. That's how he feels and that's how a lot of people feel," Kathy Moss said. "They need to make sure he never gets loose."
Sigg's mother, Mindy Sigg, told The Associated Press that her son turned himself in.
"I made the phone call, and he turned himself in. That's all I have to say," said Mindy Sigg, before she broke down in tears and hung up.
Her son also is accused of attempting to abduct a woman jogger. He was taken into custody at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. Jessica's family was notified Wednesday morning about the arrest.
"I am pleased to announce today that I believe we have taken a significant step toward justice for Jessica," Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said. "We hope and pray that this arrest gives them some measure of closure in dealing with this horrible tragedy and loss that they have suffered."
He said he hopes residents can rest "a little easier and maybe feel a little safer."
Birk said tips from the public were quite helpful to investigators. He said the public's support has given strength and encouragement to both investigators and Jessica's family.
Jessica's great-grandmother echoed this, saying how much the family appreciated that law enforcement officials tirelessly worked around the clock to find the culprit.
Law enforcement officials said they are limited on what they can say because a judge has sealed documents in the case.
Sigg will make his first court appearance Thursday. Denver media outlets reported he had recently placed second in a crime scene investigation contest. He also reportedly was interested in mortuary science.
Police are asking anyone who recognizes Sigg and can provide additional information to contact the authorities.
Before the news conference began, police announced the arrest via a news release.
"Law enforcement received the major break in the Jessica Ridgeway investigation they have been hoping for," according to a news release from the Westminster Police Department. "Late Tuesday evening, police received a call that led them to a home near the Ketner Lake Open Space. With this discovery, police are able to announce we have made an arrest in the Ridgeway murder investigation."
The 10-year-old girl disappeared Oct. 5 while making the 1,000-foot walk to her school. Her backpack and water bottle were later found, reportedly with her clothes, minus her socks, folded inside.
Colorado media outlets reported Wednesday night that Sigg confessed to forcing Jessica into his vehicle and strangling her. He allegedly told police where to find the remainder of her body.
Trash collectors discovered portions of her remains five days later in a rugged isolated area. Sigg reportedly lives close to this area.
After Jessica's remains were identified, grim-faced law enforcement officials said the search for Jessica had turned into a quest "for justice for Jessica."
Police have said she was abducted and a "predator" was loose in the community. Jessica's abduction and murder have been connected to the attempted Memorial Day weekend abduction of a 22-year-old jogger.
"Additionally, authorities will file charges against the attacker in the May 28, 2012, attempted abduction at Ketner Lake," the police statement said.
Moss had told KCTV5 on Tuesday that she was confident Jessica's killer will be caught and "the sooner, the better."
"Most of it has been mental stress. Not knowing where this person is and how long it's going to take before they catch him. But they will catch him, I'm sure of that," Moss said.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
A Colorado girl went missing on Oct. 5. Her father, Jeremy Bryant, lives in Independence. He has traveled to Colorado to assist in the search for her. Independence family hopes for answers after AmberMore>>
Friday, May 24 2013 4:38 AM EDT2013-05-24 08:38:10 GMT
(RNN) - A bridge in Washington has collapsed and at least two cars are in the water, according to KING 5 TV out of Seattle. The bridge is part of Interstate 5. There is no word on injuries. Copyright 2013More >
A photo from the scene showed a man sitting on top of his car, which was partially submerged.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:09 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:09:50 GMT
Connecticut State Police are searching for a 13-year-old endangered runaway from Hartford. Police issued a Silver Alert for Regine Winifred on Thursday after she went missing Thursday. Winifred is beingMore >
Connecticut State Police are searching for a 13-year-old endangered runaway from Hartford.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 8:24 PM EDT2013-05-24 00:24:41 GMT
Jurors deadlocked on a verdict of life or death for Jodi Arias in the 2008 killing of her one-time boyfriend were visibly upset when their verdict was read in court, CBS 5 reporter Elizabeth Erwin said. "SomeMore >
"We will proceed with the intent to retry the penalty phase" of the Jodi Arias trial, said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery after the jury deadlocked whether she should get life or death.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:43 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:43:36 GMT
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Litchfield County until 7:15 p.m.The National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated flash flooding from a thunderstorm entering the area,More >
Flooding has been reported in several parts of Connecticut Thursday evening.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:37 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:37:25 GMT
Connecticut State Police are searching for a 15-year-old endangered runaway from New Haven. Police issued a Silver Alert for Starr Ogman on Thursday after she went missing Wednesday. Ogman is being describedMore >
Connecticut State Police are searching for a 15-year-old endangered runaway from New Haven.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:08 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:08:56 GMT
Five people were arrested in the robbery of $4 million in jewelry fromAccording to police, first two people were bound and gagged with duct tape during home invasion on Gravel Street in Meriden duringMore >
Five people were arrested after a brazen overnight jewelry store robbery that involved kidnapping and hours of being tied up while the suspects loaded up $5 million in jewels.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:09 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:09:33 GMT
A 14-year-old boy from Waterbury died in his sleep this week and left his parents and friends wondering why. Kimani Brown was a freshman at Crosby High School and in perfect health, according to familyMore >
A 14-year-old boy from Waterbury died in his sleep this week and left his parents and friends wondering why.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 AM EDT2013-05-23 15:43:24 GMT
Fallen officer's daughter graduates from kindergarten
Hundreds of Phoenix police officers showed their support for a fallen colleague by attending his daughter's kindergarten graduation in Anthem on Wednesday. Officer Daryl Raetz was killed in the lineMore >
Tatum Raetz, 5, graduated from kindergarten in Anthem Wednesday and hundreds of uniformed Phoenix police officers were there to show their support for the family.More >
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:04 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:04:37 GMT
A Connecticut bill banning young people from using indoor tanning services is moving to the governor's desk. The state House of Representatives voted Thursday, 117-21, to pass legislation forbidding anyoneMore >
A Connecticut bill banning young people from using indoor tanning services is moving to the governor's desk.More >