Report: Body found in Arvada open space likely that of missing 10-year-old girl Jessica Ridgeway

Police 'unable to make connection' to missing girl

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - In a stunning turn of events, Westminster police announce a body has been found in an Arvada open space park as the search for a missing 10-year-old Westminster girl ended its sixth day.

Police spokesman Trevor Materasso quickly added, "We are unable to make a connection to the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway."

Later Wednesday night, ABC News reported three sources said investigators have reasons to believe it is the body of the missing girl.

Materasso, flanked by Arvada police spokeswoman Jill McGranahan, said Westminster and Arvada police were processing the scene and the process would continue all night.

The search also continued throughout the day Thursday.

Materasso took no questions Wednesday and did not answer reporter questions asking why he called the news conference if it wasn't connected to the girl's disappearance?  Also unanswered, was the body that of a male or female?

[Editors note: Materasso updated this information Thursday, saying identification of the victim was delayed because the body was not intact.]

Police blocked off a road leading to Pattridge Park Open Space, just north of Golden, near Highway 93.
A fire truck with a large ladder was being used to light the scene from above the area where the body was found. Photographs were being taken.

Highway 93 was closed at Leyden Gulch for the duration of the night, to protect the crime scene.

Video from AIRTRACKER7 taken just before 9 p.m. showed investigators surrounding something in what appeared to be a plastic bag in a field.

Dozens of law enforcement officers were seen doing a systematic search of the area near an abandoned mining shack since about 5 p.m., The Denver Post reported.  A neighbor living near the park told 7NEWS she saw police in the area as early as 11 a.m. 

The location is about 6 miles from the neighborhood where Jessica disappeared.

Jessica Ridgeway was last seen by her mother when she left for school Friday morning.  As was her usual routine, she was to walk three blocks to a nearby park where she would meet friends and walk Witt Elementary School.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, Materasso said the parents had been ruled out as suspects in the case.  

View Jessica Ridgeway Missing in a larger map

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