Nation

Police, community search for missing Colorado girl

Jessica Ridgeway, 10, missing since Friday.
AP
Jessica Ridgeway, 10, missing since Friday.

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — Authorities searched fields and along highways in suburban Denver Monday for signs of a 10-year-old girl who has been missing since leaving for school Friday and whose backpack may have been found miles away.

The effort to find fifth-grader Jessica Ridgeway also focused on the area around the home in Westminster, where she lives with her mother, and a neighborhood 6 miles to the north, where the backpack believed to belong to her was found Sunday.

Ridgeway was last seen Friday walking to a park where she meets classmates before school. A police flier with her photo was posted on the front door of her two-story home that was decorated for Halloween. The FBI was assisting the investigation, and investigators have been in contact with relatives in Independence, Mo.

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Police in the nearby suburb of Arvada said they were investigating whether the disappearance of Jessica was related to two recent child enticement cases that involved a man who tried to lure two boys about the same age as Jessica into a car.

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Authorities got a late start searching for Jessica because her mother works nights and slept through a call Friday from school officials after Jessica didn’t arrive for classes.

Associated Press