As authorities on Tuesday continued to scour a suburban Denver neighborhood for clues about the disappearance of an Independence man’s 10-year-old daughter, friends and family planned a candlelight vigil for 6 p.m. Wednesday in Independence.
Jessica Ridgeway disappeared after leaving for school on Friday.
Police on Tuesday released more photos of Jessica, along with a short home video, saying it would help the public learn her mannerisms and the sound of her voice.
They’re asking the public to notice some of the fifth-grader’s distinguishing characteristics, such as a small gap between her front teeth and a sore on the top of her nose below where her eyeglasses sit, adding that she might not be wearing glasses.
Wednesday’s vigil will be in McCoy Park, at U.S. 24 and Delaware Street in Independence.
Jessica was last seen Friday morning after leaving home to meet friends at a Westminster, Colo., park so they could walk to school. Police say she didn’t meet up with her friends or reach school.
Authorities got a late start searching for her because her mother works nights and slept through a call Friday from school officials after Jessica didn’t arrive for classes.
Police say the only item found so far that they can link to the girl is her backpack, found on a sidewalk in a neighborhood about six miles north of her home two days after she went missing.
Police had it analyzed at the state crime lab after taking DNA samples from her family.
Jessica Ridgeway’s mother, Sarah, and her father, Jeremiah Bryant, made a plea for her return in an interview with a Denver television station Tuesday.
Bryant has been living recently with his grandmother Donna Moss in Independence. Moss said she last saw Jessica about six weeks ago when Jessica and her mother came through the Kansas City area on their way home from a vacation.
Court records indicate Bryant was ordered to pay Sarah Ridgeway $267 per month in child support in 2005. But Moss, a retired nurse, said the two families have always been on good terms and she saw Jessica about once a year.
“There has never been a custody issue with Jessica, and we’ve had a good relationship all along with” Jessica’s mother, she said. “Whenever they go on vacation or whenever we can afford to go to Colorado or he can afford to go to Colorado without me, we get together and it’s not a hostile environment of any kind. No way shape or form.”
Court records also show Bryant was sentenced this summer to supervised probation in a domestic assault case in Missouri. Information on the alleged victim wasn’t immediately available.