Authorities looking for a 10-year-old girl who disappeared on a walk to school said a body found in a park Wednesday was “not intact,” which has hampered identification.
However, officials on Thursday were not linking the body to the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway, whose father lives in Independence. They noted that officers were still searching for her, and they have refused to say whether the body is that of a child.
The body was found late Wednesday at Pattridge Park in the Denver suburb of Arvada, about seven miles from where Jessica disappeared in the suburb of Westminster on Oct. 5.
Jessica vanished after leaving home to meet friends at a park for her walk to school. Her parents have been ruled out as suspects, and authorities believe Jessica was kidnapped by an “unknown suspect.”
Authorities also issued a plea Thursday for the public’s help to find Jessica’s abductor.
On Thursday, the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit released a list of changes that a person committing a crime against a child would exhibit. Among them: sudden differences in appearance, missed appointments, being absent from work or leaving town with no explanation.
“It could be your boss, it could be your friend, and ultimately it could be your family member,” FBI spokesman Dave Joly said. “Bring this information to law enforcement.”
Joly said agents are searching for a man based on statistics for this type of crime.
The only clue that police have revealed is the discovery of a backpack and water bottle that Jessica had with her when she disappeared. Police won’t discuss what was found in the bag or test results on it.
The items were found in Superior, some six miles from Jessica’s home.