Westminster Police announced on Wednesday that an arrest has been made in the Jessica Ridgeway murder investigation. 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg was taken into custody on Tuesday night.
Police say that law enforcement received the major break in the investigation late Tuesday evening. The tip led them to a home near the Ketner Lake Open Space. Authorities believe that Sigg is also responsible for an attempted abduction on May 28th near Ketner Lake.
Our sister station in Denver, 7NEWS, says the teen went to his mother on Tuesday with “disturbing information” and she urged him to call police and turn himself in.
Sigg’s mother, Mindy Sigg, told reporters that she made the phone call to police and her son turned himself in. His mother was at the home when he was taken into custody.
Sigg is charged with two counts of first degree murder and one kidnapping charge as it relates to the Jessica Ridgeway case. He is also charged with one count of criminal attempt murder and one count of criminal attempt kidnapping in relation to the May Ketner Lake case. Official filing of charges are forthcoming, according to authorities. Sigg will have his first court appearance on Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Jefferson County courthouse.
At a press conference on Wednesday, authorities said this arrest is the beginning of a process for justice for Jessica. The arrest affidavit has been sealed by court order and no other information was released. Police said that the Ridgeway family has been notified of the arrest.
Sigg is currently a student at Arapahoe Community College.
He was enrolled at JeffCo Schools from fifth grade to 11th grade, attending Witt Elementary (the same school Jessica attended), Wayne Carle Middle School, Standley Lake High School and Warren Tech, a vocational school.
He did not graduate from Jeffco Schools but obtained his GED, a JeffCo Schools spokeswoman said.
At Warren Tech, he was involved in a student organization called HOSA, or Health Occupation Students of America, where he competed in state-wide crime scene investigations and won second place in forensic science and biotechnology competitions.
Some friends have told media outlets that he expressed interest in becoming a mortician and he was studying mortuary science at Arapahoe Community College.
Police were at Sigg’s home Wednesday afternoon and towed away a bronze Jeep. They erected two white tents in his driveway where they were putting items of evidence they were pulling from his home. They put up police tape all around his home and AirTracker7 video shows investigators going through the back yard.
Westminster Police say they believe the suspect’s photograph will lead to more information about other possible crimes. The police tip line is still operating: 303-658-4336 or email: email@example.com.
10-year-old Jessica disappeared after leaving for school on Oct. 5. Her body was found five days later in a field at a park in Arvada. Investigators say her body was not intact.