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Austin Reed Sigg arrested in connection to the Jessica Ridgeway case in Westminster

10:04 PM, Oct 24, 2012   |    comments
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9Wants To Know has confirmed that partial remains were found at the house where the suspect in the Ridgeway murder was arrested.

The suspect, 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg, was taken into custody on Tuesday night. Sources tell 9NEWS the mother of Sigg somehow found out about his possible involvement in Jessica's disappearance. Sigg's mother called the police Tuesday night to turn him in.

Investigators interviewed Sigg for about six hours. 9Wants To Know has learned he provided them specific details about the crime that only someone intimately involved would know.

"I believe we have taken a significant step towards justice for Jessica," Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said on Wednesday during a press conference.

Birk thanked the community for the thousands of tips they provided to police.

"Justice for Jessica is a process, and this is the beginning of the process," Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey said Wednesday during the press conference.

Investigators are conducting DNA testing on evidence discovered to see if it matches the suspects.

9Wants To Know was able to speak with Sigg's mother, but she did not want to comment on his arrest.

Police are still asking the public for information related to this case. You can call the police tip line at 303-658-4336 or email:PDamberalert@cityofwestminster.us.

Sigg will make his first court appearance Wednesday morning at 8 a.m. 

SUSPECT HAD INTEREST IN MORTUARY SCIENCE

According to 9Wants To Know sources, Sigg was interested in mortuary science and attended Arapahoe Community College.

Sigg also took forensic science class last year at WarrenTech. A classmate who took the course with Sigg says they studied DNA and crime scenes.

Meaghan Barker said Sigg did a project exploring how bodies decompose. He used skinned rats and placed them in several different environments, including freezing temperatures, covered in dirt and out in the open.

EX-GIRLFRIEND SAYS SUSPECT WAS 'KIND'

The accused child killer has been described by some friends as "a good guy."

Sigg's ex-girlfriend, who 9NEWS is identifying as "Danni," is having a hard time coming to grips with what he is accused of.

"The Austin I knew would never have done anything like that," Danni said. "He was my first boyfriend. He was my first kiss. He was my first date."

She can't remember any warning signs, but says Sigg did have a collection of weapons.

"I knew he had a sword collection in his room or a knife collection or whatever. But it was his man cave. A lot of people collect stuff," Danni said.

SUSPECT BULLIED

Sarah Moravec, a Standley Lake High School senior, says she picked on Sigg nearly every day for having a high-pitched voice.

"I picked on him a lot," Moravec said. "Austin was just different. So, why not pick on the different people? But then again, I was bullied whenever I was younger."

THE INVESTIGATION

Westminster Police announced on Monday evening there is a direct link between the Memorial Day attempted abduction at Ketner Lake and the Jessica Ridgeway murder case.

Over the Memorial Day weekend police say a jogger was attacked from behind at Ketner Lake by a man who used a chemical-soaked rag to try and subdue her. The woman fought off her would-be abductor.

For days, police spoke of a possible connection between the Ketner Lake incident and the Jessica Ridgeway kidnapping, but it wasn't until Monday that they officially linked the two cases.

Monday evening, police also told 9NEWS that they have ruled out other evidence that has been recovered as they investigate the Ridgeway case. 

Most notably, police say some grocery receipts for garbage bags that were discovered after Ridgeway's body was found are not related to the case.

WHAT'S NEXT

9NEWS Legal Expert Scott Robinson discussed what's next for Sigg as the case moves through the legal system. 

Robinson says since Sigg is a juvenile the death penalty will not be an option for prosecutors.

GOVERNOR RESPONDS

Governor John Hickenlooper released a statement in response to the suspect's arrest:

"Every parent in every Colorado community will rest a little easier tonight. While we still mourn the death of Jessica Ridgeway, we are relieved an arrest has been made and the pursuit of justice can continue. We are especially grateful today to law enforcement officers at all levels for their quick action in this case."

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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