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Jessica Ridgeway Search: Police Say Body Found In Colorado Is 'Not Intact,' Difficult To Positively ID

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Photos of Jessica Ridgeway, released by Westminster Police Department.
Photos of Jessica Ridgeway, released by Westminster Police Department.

The unidentified body that Colorado police discovered during their search for missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway has been difficult to positively identify because the body is "not intact," the police said at a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

Authorities will not say if the body is that of the missing Westminster fifth-grader who disappeared on Friday on her way to school.

Westminster PD tweeted this update to the ongoing investigation just after 12 p.m. on Thursday:

The body was found by police late Wednesday in Pittridge Park open space in Arvada, Colorado, about seven miles away from Jessica's home in Westminster.

Just Wednesday afternoon authorities said that the course of the investigation had led them to believe that Jessica had been abducted by an "unknown suspect." They also said they were confident that Jessica's parents were not involved in her disappearance.

According to the Associated Press, authorities have been following hundreds of leads from at least five states including a possible link to an abandoned light blue Buick station wagon found in Portsmouth, NH with Colorado plates, the Seacoast Online reported.

Last Sunday on Oct. 7th, Police Sergeant Alan Grinnell in Dexter, Maine said that a woman had called to report seeing a girl who looked like Jessica Ridgeway in a Buick station wagon with Colorado plates. The police said they had also received other calls reporting sightings of the missing Westminster girl in Harmony, Maine, in a similar vehicle.

Police were also investigating a possible connection with Jessica's case to a kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl in Cody, Wyoming who was abducted for several hours, released and found on Monday. However, according to the Associated Press, the FBI said it does not believe the cases are related. Police are searching for a suspect in the Wyoming case.

Jessica was last seen Friday morning when she left her home to meet friends at a park so they could walk to school together, but police say she never met up with her friends at the park or made it to her school's campus.

From the AP:

Sarah Ridgeway said her daughter woke up at 7:45 a.m. Friday as usual and ate a granola bar before leaving to meet friends at a park about a block away for their walk to Witt Elementary School. Police say Sarah Ridgeway, a night-shift worker, was asleep and missed a call from school reporting Jessica absent. She got the message when she woke at about 4 p.m., eight hours after she said her daughter left the house.

Sarah Ridgeway checked the park, Jessica's friends and the school before calling police. Jessica never even met her friends that morning.

Since she went missing, police have released photos and video (both below) of Jessica with the hope that if more people see the fifth-grader's facial features, mannerisms and hear her voice, it might lead to her being recognized and located.

The police have asked the public to pay close attention to the young girl's most distinguishable features: a small gap between her two front teeth and a sore on the top of her nose where the bridge of her eyeglasses sit. Authorities said she may or may not be wearing eyeglasses.

Despite these latest developments in the case, police are still monitoring social media sites and tip lines for anyone with any information. Jessica is 4'10," 80 pounds, has shoulder-length blonde hair, blue eyes and was last seen wearing a black jacket with pink and purple eyeglasses. Anyone with any information is being asked to call the Westminster Police tip line: 303-658-4336 or email PDamberalert@cityofwestminster.us.

Follow the Westminster Police on Twitter and Facebook.

Photos of Jessica Ridgeway:

Also on The Huffington Post

The Search For Jessica Ridgeway
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