Ex-FBI chief: Jessica Ridgeway's killer may still be in area, could act again

Pence: Parents should be protective, not panicked

DENVER - The former head of the FBI in Colorado says several aspects of the Jessica Ridgeway case suggest the killer is still in the area and could possibly act again.

"If the parents can possibly add a little different level of
protection right now until this situation is resolved, I think that
would be warranted," Bob Pence, the former FBI special agent in charge  for Colorado, told 7NEWS Monday.

"Anyone that's capable of an act like this, it may
be just the beginning," Pence said. "This person is initiating a sick
mind and it's going to involve additional crimes, additional acts
that the public needs to be concerned about."

Pence said parents should be protective -- not panicked.

Traditionally, people who commit these types of crimes are cowards and wouldn't approach a child
who's accompanied by an adult or someone else, he said.

He noted that serial killers and abductors normally move quickly through an area, which contradicts the abduction of Jessica, who disappeared while walking to school on Oct. 5. Her backpack was found two days later and her body was found in an Arvada open space area five days after her abduction.

The backpack was found in Superior, six miles from her home and about 6.5 miles from where her body was found.

Pence said leaving the backpack for authorities to find was intentional.

"It's a situation that doesn't always occur in a kidnapping, leaving a
clue like that. It was put there for a purpose," he said.

Pence said the killer likely left the backpack either to taunt police or as a
diversion.

On Monday, investigators continued to canvass Jessica's neighborhood
and follow-up on the more than 4,000 tips.

Pence said law enforcement is relying on the community to help find Jessica's killer.

"We have a very dangerous person on our hands," Pence said. "A person, if they had
full mental capacity, probably would not do this. So I think normally
that someone capable of doing this has got mental problems and they
should be obvious to someone," Pence said.

"Somewhere, this person has probably given off a suggestion or clue that things are not all
right," Pence said.