Student, 17, Arrested in Jessica Ridgeway Murder

Austin Sigg is a student at Arapahoe Community College in Colorado.

ByABC News
October 24, 2012, 1:34 PM

Oct. 24, 2012 — -- A community college student has been arrested for the abduction, murder and dismemberment of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, Colorado police said today.

Austin Reed Sigg, 17, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of first degree murder, one count of second degree kidnapping and two counts of criminal attempts. Authorities expect he will be formally charged this week.

Sigg is a student at Arapahoe Community College, according to his arrest report.

"Law enforcement received the major break in the Jessica Ridgeway investigation they have been hoping for," the Westminster Police said today. "Late Tuesday evening police received a call that led them to a home near the Ketner Lake Open Space."

After Sigg was contacted in relation to Ridgeway's case, he was handcuffed and taken to the Westminster Police Department for interviewing and booking. He was "cooperative," according to the police report.

The teenager was later taken to Mountain View Detention Facility.

The charges against Sigg are for Ridgeway's death and for the attempted abduction of a jogger in May 2012.

"We notified the Ridgeway family this morning of this arrest and we hope and pray this arrest gives them some measure of closure in dealing with this horrible tragedy and loss they have suffered," Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said at a news conference today.

Authorities said they could not release much information since Sigg is a juvenile and the affidavits in the case have been sealed under court order.

A woman who said she is Austin Sigg's aunt--reached by phone at Sigg's home number by ABC News--claimed the 17-year-old turned himself in to police.

Police would not comment on the claim at the news conference.

"It certainly was a collaborative effort non-stop, all day and night, but justice for Jessica is a process and this is the beginning of that," Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey said.

Sigg is expected to make his first court appearance on Thursday at 8 a.m. in Jefferson County Court.

Jessica Ridgeway vanished on Oct. 5 when she left for school. The fifth-grader never showed up at a nearby park where she was supposed to meet friends for the one-mile walk to her elementary school.

After an extensive search of the area, including knocking on doors and FBI road blocks, Jessica's dismembered body was found on Oct. 10 in an Arvada, Colo., park, miles from where she was abducted.

On Tuesday, authorities said there was a "definitive link" between Ridgeway's case and the attempted abduction of a jogger.

On May 28, at around 1:15 p.m., a 22-year-old woman was running on a trail around Ketner Lake when she said a man tried to grab her from behind, police said. The woman said he tried to put a rag over her mouth that had a chemical smell. She was able to get away and call 911.