Posted: Oct 24, 2012 1:20 PM by CBS News - Denver
Updated: Oct 24, 2012 1:22 PM
Police in Westminster have made an arrest in the Jessica Ridgeway murder investigation.
Police announced the arrest of Austin Reed Sigg on Wednesday morning. The 17-year-old is a Westminster resident. He is being held on two counts of investigation of murder, kidnapping and criminal attempt.
"We have taken a significant step towards Justice for Jessica," said Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk during a noon news conference on Wednesday. "We have made an arrest in the Jessica Ridgeway case. 17-year-old Austin Sigg is in our custody."
Sigg is described as a white teen male, 5-foot-6, 160 pounds, brown hair and green eyes. He was born in Colorado.
Sigg was taken into police custody at his home in the 10600 block of 102nd Avenue in Westminster on Tuesday evening. That is near Ketner Lake Open Space several blocks from where Jessica was abducted on her way to Witt Elementary School on Oct. 5.
Sigg told police he is a student at Arapahoe Community College. The college is also where Sigg told police he is employed.
Sigg is being held in the Mountain View Detention Facility. That is the typical place where juveniles are held.
Police said late Tuesday evening police received a call that led them to a home near the Ketner Lake Open Space in Westminster. They were able to arrest Sigg in the 10-year-old's murder.
"Though an arrest has been made there continues to be a substantial amount of work, leads, follow up that has to be done," said Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso. "If you look at this and recognize or you think there is any information that would still benefit the investigation we would continue to ask that you call the Westminster Police Department." Authorities were also able to file charges against the attacker in the May 28 attempted abduction at Ketner Lake.
Sigg is tentatively scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.
"We want to thank the community for the thousandsd of tips they have provided in this case," said Birk. "Those tips have been instrumental and very helpful in this case."
Police in Westminster searched Sigg's home on Wednesday for evidence where he lived with his mother.
Investigators seemed to take particular interest in a Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV that was parked in the driveway of Sigg's home. The vehicle was hauled away on a tow truck for investigation. Copter4 followed it to a garage at the Westminster Police Department where it will be examined and evidence collected.
"We can't give you a lot of information. Affidavits in this case have been sealed. That's under a court order. We all are precluded from giving too much detail," said Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey. According to the arrest affidavit, Sigg was cooperative with police and waived his rights when taken into custody Tuesday night.
"We notified the Ridgeway family this morning of this arrest. It gives them some measure of closure in dealing with this horrible tragedy and loss that they have suffered," said Birk. "We also hope that knowing that an arrest has been made in this case can cause our community to rest a little easier and maybe feel a little safer."
Police have not said whether DNA from one of the crime scenes, either Ridgeway's Westminster neighborhood or Ketner Lake, helped lead them to a suspect.
"The home that you see is in and around the area that law enforcement have been working since the beginning of the investigation," said Materasso.
"All of the samples that we've taken up to this point have been voluntarily donated by the people who we're contacting," Materasso said on Tuesday.
The samples fall into several categories - those contacted in the canvass of Ridgeway's neighborhood or where her backpack was found in Superior; people in the area who were on cellphones at the time of the disappearance; and those who might fit the description of the person who they are seeking, who they described as 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-8 with light skin and brown hair.
Police confirm 500 samples have been taken.