But any hope that their 10-year-old daughter was still alive was extinguished today for Jessica Ridgeway’s parents – Sarah Ridgeway, who lives in Colorado, and Jeremiah Bryant, who lives in Missouri.
In what is every parent’s worst nightmare, the dismembered body found Wednesday about 7 miles southwest of Jessica’s home in a suburban Denver park, was confirmed as that of the missing 10-year-old.
Authorities had initially been unable to confirm the identity of the body as they said it was “not intact”, but declined to elaborate.
Jessica began a short walk from her home to Witt Elementary School on the morning of Oct. 5 but never arrived.
Now authorities, who have ruled out her parents as suspects, fear that a predator is on the loose.
“Our focus has changed from the search for Jessica to a mission of justice for Jessica,” Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said on Friday. “We realise there is a predator at large in our community.”
For days, purple ribbons, Jessica’s favorite color and a symbol of hope for her return, were tied around trees.
It doesn’t get any sadder than this….watch her parents distraught in this video posted on Oct. 9.