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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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