Justice for Jessica Ridgeway: Potential jurors in Austin Sigg trial face questioning

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - Questioning began Tuesday for potential jurors in the trial of Austin Sigg.

Sigg, 18, is charged with the kidnapping, killing and dismembering of Jessica Ridgeway. The 10-year-old girl was kidnapped on her way to school on October 5, triggering a massive search. Her dismembered remains were found five days later in an open space field in Arvada.

People in the pool of jurors were initially called to court on Friday to fill out a questionnaire. Defense attorneys and prosecutors reviewed those forms over the weekend.

Sigg has pleaded not guilty. However, in a call to 911 last year, Sigg admitted to killing Ridgeway and to trying to kidnap the jogger.

"I murdered Jessica Ridgeway, I have proof that I did," Sigg is heard saying on the recording. "I'm giving myself up completely, there will be no resistance whatsoever."

When the dispatcher asked Sigg if he had a criminal history, he confessed to a second crime.

"The only other (incident) was Ketner Lake, where a woman was attacked. That was me," Sigg said.

Sigg is being tried for both cases.

Sigg's attorneys asked that the trial being moved away from Jefferson County saying in court documents that "massive" news coverage of the case had jeopardized Sigg's right to a fair trial.

However, our partners at the Denver Post reported that the judge denied the request to move the trial.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Oct. 3 and the trial is expected to last two and a half weeks.

If convicted, Sigg faces life in prison with the possibility of parole after 40 years. Sigg, who is now 18, cannot face the death penalty because he was 17 at the time of the killing.

-- Sigg was a college student, expressed interest in forensic science

Austin Reed Sigg was described by friends as a shy, loner who won awards in student crime scene investigation competitions.

Sigg was a student at Arapahoe Community College when he was arrested last year.

He was enrolled at JeffCo Schools from fifth grade to 11th grade, attending Witt Elementary (the same school Jessica attended), Wayne Carle Middle School, Standley Lake High School and Warren Tech, a vocational school.

He did not graduate from Jeffco Schools but obtained his GED, a JeffCo Schools spokeswoman said.

At Warren Tech, he was involved in a student organization called HOSA, or Health Occupation Students of America, where he competed in state-wide competitions, placing as a finalist in forensic science and biotechnology categories.

Some friends have told media outlets that he expressed interest in becoming a mortician and he was studying mortuary science at Arapahoe Community College.

-- Jessica was silly, loved to dance

Jessica's family described the 10-year-old as a bright, funny girl who liked to help around the house. Her favorite color was purple.

Jessica's mother, Sarah Ridgeway, said Jessica loved school and liked to do things for herself. She said Jessica took care of preparing herself for school in the morning.

She wanted to be a teenager before she was a teenager, Sarah said.

Jessica had had two fish and two frogs. And, like many kids, she loved to watch Disney Channel shows like "Shake It Up" and "The Wizards of Waverly Place." One of her favorite songs was "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.

"Jessica was an ordinary little girl, brought up by an ordinary family," Jessica's aunt Gay Moore said. "She argued with us. She didn't want to take a bath. She didn't want to go to bed on time. But she touched all of our lives in a special way, just by being who she was."

Friends and family members recalled Jessica as a silly, normal girl who loved to dance and "shake her booty," tell knock-knock jokes and paint her face in blue and green makeup.

"Jessica was one of the happiest kids I've ever known," said family friend Beverly Sternberg.

Sarah said her home feels quiet and empty without her daughter. She said Jessica's voice is missing.

The park Jessica was walking to on the day she disappeared has been renamed Jessica Ridgeway Memorial Park.

For complete coverage of the Jessica Ridgeway case, visit http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/jessica-ridgeway

Print this article Back to Top