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Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Austin Reed Sigg Murder Case

     In 2012, ten-year-old Jessica Ridgeway resided in Westminster, Colorado outside of Denver. The Witt Elementary School fifth grader lived with her mother, grandmother, and aunt. Jessica's mother, Sarah Ridgeway, and the girl's father, Jeremiah Bryant, were divorced and fighting over the $267 per month Mr. Bryant had been ordered to pay in child support. Sarah Ridgeway worked the 10 PM to 7 AM shift at a software company in Boulder.

     On Friday, October 5, 2012, Jessica left her house at eight-thirty in the morning en route to a classmate's home to be driven to school by her friend's father. The 1,000 foot walk, past a handful of single track homes and the playground equipment in Chelsa Park, only took a few minutes. When Jessica didn't show up at her friend's house at eight-forty, the boy's father drove his son to school without her.

     At ten that morning, a school secretary at Witt Elementary called Sarah Ridgeway's cellphone to report Jessica's absence. Sarah, already asleep after working the previous night in Boulder, did not pick up the phone. When she awoke at four that afternoon, she checked her messages and learned that Jessica had missed school that day.

     The concerned mother drove to the school where no one she spoke to said they had seen Jessica that day. After checking with some of her daughter's friends, and driving by Chelsa Park, Sarah Ridgeway, at 4:23 PM, drove to the Westminster Police Department to report her daughter missing.

     That evening, an officer with a bloodhound canvased the 1,000-foot route Jessica would have taken that morning. The dog did not pick up her scent. At nine that night, the authorities had enough evidence of an abduction to issue an Amber Alert.

     The following morning, 1,000 volunteers showed up at the police department to walk the fields in Jessica's neighborhood. The search did not produce any information relative to the girl's disappearance.

     On October 7, two days after Jessica went missing, a man six miles from the Ridgeway home found a backpack lying next to a sidewalk. The bag contained a keychain bearing the name "Jessica."

     Maintenance workers picking up litter in a park in Arvada, Colorado nine miles from Jessica's house, came across a plastic trash bag they thought contained the remains of someone's pet. The workers flagged down two animal management officers who happened to be driving by. One of the officers opened the bag and found the dismembered remains of a child. Two days later, DNA tests confirmed that the trash bag held Jessica Ridgeway's remains.

     The Jessica Ridgeway case, now about child murder and dismemberment, suddenly broke into the national news as a big story. Was there a child killer on the loose in Westminster, Colorado?

     Ten days after the gruesome discovery in Arvada, a tipster called the Westminster Police Department with information about Austin Reed Sigg. The 17-year-old, who lived in Westminster with his mother, had dropped out of high school in his junior year. He had since earned a graduate equivalency diploma and was enrolled in a local community college. According to the caller, Sigg had an obsession with death and mortuary science. He had also expressed an attraction to Jessica Ridgeway.

     The day following the tip concerning Austin Sigg, FBI agents went to his house and acquired a sample of his DNA.

     On October 23, 2012, Austin Sigg called 911 and expressed his desire to turn himself in and confess to the murder and dismemberment of the missing Westminster girl. In response to the dispatcher's inquiry regarding his criminal history, Sigg said, "The only other thing that I have done was the Kerner Lake incident where the woman got attacked. That was me." (In May 2012, a young man tried to subdue a female jogger by placing a rag soaked in homemade chloroform over her face. She resisted and managed to escape.)

     The day following Sigg's 911 confession, the police took him into custody. Sigg told his interrogators that he had abducted Jessica shortly after she left her house that morning. After strangling her to death, he cut up her body in a bathtub and deposited most of her remains in the Arvada, Colorado park. He had, however, hidden some of the girl's body parts in a crawl space in the house he shared with his mother.

     A Jefferson County prosecutor charged Austin Sigg as an adult with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and the sexual assault of a child. (Sigg denied having sex with the victim.) He was jailed without bond.

     On October 1, 2013, almost a year after Jessica Ridgeway's abduction and murder, and just two days before Sigg's murder trial was to commence, the defendant, against the advice of his public defender, pleaded guilty to all charges.

     On November 18, 2013, before sentencing Sigg to life plus 86 years, Judge Stephen Munsinger, in referring to what Sigg had done to Jessica Ridgeway, said, "Evil is apparently real."
      

6 comments:

  1. Google Roper v Simmons supreme court ruling then delete the last sentence

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  2. The death penalty is not an option for juveniles in ANY state.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is really nice story...Thanks for sharing
    Get more crime stories visit Professor Birdsong's Dumbest Criminals

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "A really" nice" story? Really? A dismembered young girl is a "nice" story? WOW.

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  4. The info about the father in inaccurate

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  5. I love the stories when people actually confess. It can not change what they did but it saves so much pain and suffering. It helps bring a sense of closure to the case. He is in jail where he belongs, I know God has a special place in heaven for a sweet child such as Jessica.

    ReplyDelete