Could Wyoming Abduction Be Related to Jessica Ridgeway Disappearance?

PHOTO: Missing girl, Jessica Ridgeway, is shown in this photo posted on Facebook by the police.
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FBI agents are investigating if there is a connection between the case of missing Colorado 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway and the abduction of an 11-year-old in Wyoming on Monday.

Authorities say they do not yet know if there could be a connection, but FBI Denver spokesman Dave Joly said, "We are covering all of our bases."

On Monday afternoon, an 11-year-old girl in Cody, Wyo., was lured to a white SUV by a man who approached her and two friends. He told them that he was missing his black lab puppy and asked if they could help him find it, police said.

One of the little girls agreed to help him and climbed into the front seat of the vehicle and he drove away. Forty-five minutes later, one of the other children called the police to say that her friend had gotten in the car and not returned.

An Amber Alert was issued around 6:45 p.m. and police received a report at 8:15 p.m. of a little girl walking down Spirit Mountain Road, just outside Cody. Authorities confirmed that it was the missing girl.

"[The girl] reported that when she approached the suspect vehicle, the suspect brandished a 'pistol' and directed her to get in the front passenger seat of the vehicle," the Cody Police Department wrote in a report. "The suspect then drove the victim onto Carter Mountain where he sexually assaulted her."

ABC News is withholding the name of the child since she was a victim of sexual assault.

Authorities are now on the hunt for the suspect who they describe as a white male, approximately 55-60 years old, between 185 and 200 pounds with either short white or strawberry blonde hair and a mustache or beard.

Cody is approximately 500 miles northwest of Westminster, Colo., where Jessica Ridgeway disappeared.

Ridgeway vanished Friday when she left to walk three blocks from her home to meet friends for the walk to school. It was a route she took every day, but this time she never got there.

An Amber Alert was issued Oct. 5 for the 10-year-old, nearly eight hours after she disappeared.

When Ridgeway didn't show up for class, school officials called her home.

Jessica's mother, Sarah, who works the overnight shift at a tech company, was asleep. She didn't get the message, which delayed her calling police.

Police say that Jessica's father, who lives out of state, is in a custody battle with Jessica's mother. Police do not believe Jessica is with him, but are not ruling anyone out.

Ridgeway's backpack and water bottle were found on Sunday, six miles from where she was last seen. Police say the backpack is vital evidence in a case that has precious few leads.

"The bottom line is to give us ideas and evidence to who may have been in contact with it and where can we focus the search," Westminster Police Detective Trevor Materasso said.

The search for Ridgeway expanded Monday with more than 100 hundred people combing roadsides and rocky terrain. Meanwhile, police are checking reports that three weeks ago a suspicious man was seen approaching children.

Police and FBI agents are still urgently going door-to-door in Ridgeway's neighborhood asking people to search their vehicles, yards and homes.

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