WESTMINSTER, Colo. -
In an attempt to uncover possible leads in the Jessica Ridgeway slaying, Westminster police on Thursday asked the public for information about two attempted abductions at Ketner Lake, where a man tried to grab women joggers.
"Due to the time frame and geographic proximity of Jessica's disappearance and the attempted abduction near the Ketner Lake Open Space, police are trying to determine if there is any connection between the two cases," Westminster police said in a news release.
About 1:15 p.m. on May 28, 2012, a 22-year-old woman was jogging on a trail around Ketner Lake when a man grabbed her from behind and tried put a rag with a chemical smell over her mouth, police said.
The woman escaped and called 911, police said. Yet officers searching the area with a police dog were unable to find the attacker.
Police cited a similar incident in July 2010 when a man chased a female jogger near the lake.
The suspect in the May 2012 attack was described as a light-skinned man who ranged in age from 18 to his 30s.
He had brown hair, a medium build and was about 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall. The man was wearing a dark blue baseball cap, small-rim sunglasses, a black T-shirt and blue jeans.
The suspect description in the July 2010 incident was similar.
Westminster police and assisting law enforcement agencies have been unable to identify a suspect vehicle in either of these incidents. Several metro area law enforcement jurisdictions are working other cases of attempted abductions and various vehicle or suspect descriptions have been provided.
Working with the FBI and its Behavioral Analysis Unit, investigators are asking the public to call police if someone they know changed their behavior, acted unusual, failed to show up for a family activity or had some other unusual change. Police are specifically looking for these behavior changes on Oct. 5, when Jessica disappeared and the days afterward, and on the Memorial Day weekend, when the female jogger was attacked at Ketner Lake.
"We're looking for those same odd behavior changes," said Trevor Materasso, a spokesman for the Westminster Police Department. "Somebody who didn't show up for a neighborhood party or family get together and when they did they were acting funny."