Hundreds attend vigils for missing Jessica Ridgeway in Westminster, Superior

People wave flashlights, pray for Jessica's return

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - With the hum of a search helicopter in the background, hundreds gathered down the street from Jessica Ridgeway's elementary school for a vigil on Tuesday night.

Vigils were held in her Westminster neighborhood and in Superior, where her backpack was found days after she disappeared.

"This is the gift that we can give back to the family, said Melissa Noland, who attended the Westminster rally. "This is to let them know that we're here to support them and here to rally around them and to keep them hopeful."

Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk was among those who spoke to the crowd at the vigil.

"I can tell you that as police officers there is nothing that we take more serious than the safety of our children," Birk said.

The chief also assured the crowd that his department is doing everything it can to find Jessica.

Some people who attended also took part in the volunteer search effort for Jessica this past weekend. Others were simply moved by her story.

"I just can't imagine going through this. It's just really hard," said Lisa Delgado. "I just really wanted to come out and show my support."