Neighbors, families relieved after suspect arrested in Jessica Ridgeway murder case

Austin Sigg is charged with murder and kidnapping

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Neighbors tell 7NEWS they are relieved after hearing the news that a suspect has been arrested in the abduction and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.

The suspect, 17-year-old Austin Sigg, lived just about a mile from the area where Ridgeway disappeared.

Since the kidnapping, residents of the Countryside neighborhood say they've been extremely careful to watch their children.

"I've watched my son like a hawk," said neighbor Shawn Tillery. "I would not let him out of my sight."

Tillery knows Sigg.

"He was very quiet," said Tillery. "We would say 'hi,' and he would say 'hi' back."

Cindy Hauser, who also lives nearby, said she started taking her granddaughter to school after Ridgeway disappeared.

"I’m so grateful they’ve gotten somebody, I was afraid it was going to happen again," she said.

"I think that it’s really horrible ‘cause he seemed nice, but in the end he never really was," said Haley, Hauser's granddaughter.

Theresa Lindsey lives just down the street from Jessica's family, and said she has mixed feelings about the arrest.

"It's said. Two families have lost their children," said Lindsey ”It provides some relief, but there are so many copy cats I guess that are out there right now that it’s kind of scary to think that more would possibly come out.”

Westminster Police arrested Sigg on Tuesday night on suspicion of of two counts of murder in the first degree, one count of second degree kidnapping and two counts of criminal attempt.

The first three charges (murder and kidnapping) are related to the Jessica Ridgeway case, according to Westminster Police spokesman Trevor Materasso. Ridgeway was abducted Oct. 5 on her way to meet friends to walk to school. Her body was found five days later.  Police described it as "not intact."

Materasso said the last two charges, attempted murder and attempted kidnapping are related to the attempted kidnapping of a jogger in May at Ketner Lake.

"Every parent in every Colorado community will rest a little easier tonight," said Colorado governor and parent John Hickenlooper. "While we still mourn the death of Jessica Ridgeway, we are relieved an arrest has been made and the pursuit of justice can continue. We are especially grateful today to law enforcement officers at all levels for their quick action in this case."

"We've been waiting for this," said Becky Kichler, who lives in the Ridgeway's neighborhood. "We have a 10-year-old grandson of our own. This is good. I'm so glad. Now, maybe, the neighborhood can kinda come down a little bit. We've all been at nerves for the last, what, 2 weeks? And, it's like, now I think the neighbors… might be a good Halloween for the kids around here."

"Very grateful," said a neighbor near the arrest scene. "I'm just glad that they found this person."

Janet Bruchmann lives near the Sigg family home and said it became apparent within a few days that the investigation was focused on her neighborhood.  

"There were cars, specially equipped vans parked at the entrance to this area, right along Lee Street where we live, taking pictures of every vehicle that came and went," she said. "We noticed as we walked around and drive around the rest of the countryside, these vehicles were not in a lot of other places."

Speaking in Independence, Missouri, Jessica's great grandmother, Donna Moss, said she was surprised by Sigg's age.

"My heart goes out to his mother because I can't understand how it would have to feel to be a mother of a monster like him," she said.