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Teen confesses to abduction and killing of 10-year-old in Colorado

11:33 AM, Oct 25, 2012   |    comments
Suspect Austin Reed Sigg (KUSA)
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GOLDEN, Colo. -- Prosecutors say a Colorado teenager has confessed to the abduction and killing of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway and a related attack on a jogger that eventually led to his arrest.

Authorities also said at a court hearing Thursday for 17-year-old Austin Reed Sigg that they have "overwhelming" DNA

evidence against the suspect, who kept his head bowed for much of his time in court and said very little.

He spoke occasionally with his lawyer and at one point made eye contact at one point with relatives of Ridgeway, who

were in the courtroom wearing purple ribbons in the girl's memory, the Associated Press reports.

Sigg, a student at Arapahoe Community College, was arrested Tuesday evening in connection with the killing of Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5 on her way to school. He lives about a mile and a half from Ridgeway's home in Westminster, Colo.

KUSA-TV reports that police say they found partial remains of the 10-year-old during a search of the home of a Sigg's home on Wednesday. Investigators told The Denver Post that they found "DNA remnants" in the crawl space of Sigg's home.

Jessica's body, which was described by police as "not intact," was found in an area of abandoned mines five days after her disappearance.

Police earlier said they interviewed Sigg for about six hours and that the provided specific details about the crime that only someone intimately involved would know, KUSA-TV's Blair Shiff reports.

Acquaintances say Sigg was interested in mortuary science and forensic science, often wore black and hung out in the high school cafeteria's "goth corner."

A former girlfriend tells KUSA-TV's 9NEWS that she finds it difficult to come to terms with what Sigg is accused of.

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

The Post quotes longtime friends of the suspect as describing him as sweet and "very smart."

Sigg, if convicted of murder, would not face the death penalty because of his age.

KCTV reported that this legal reality disappoints Jessica's paternal family, who live in Independence, Mo.

"I think it's all I've got within me not to just want to just burn him, and I mean burn him," Jessica's great-grandmother, Donna Moss, told KCTV Wednesday evening. "I meant literally lit him on fire. Send him to hell in a blaze of glory."

Police in the Denver suburb of Westminster said they took Sigg into custody on Tuesday night after receiving a phone call, apparently from his mother, that led them to Sigg.

Reached by phone, Sigg's mother told The Associated Press he turned himself in.

"I made the phone call, and he turned himself in. That's all I have to say," said Mindy Sigg, before she broke down in tears and hung up.

Authorities said Sigg also will face charges in the May 28 attempted kidnapping of a 22-year-old runner at the Ketner Lake Open Space.

Police have said the two crimes are connected but haven't elaborated.

In the May case, a woman fought off a stranger who grabbed her from behind and put a rag that smelled of chemicals over her mouth, authorities said. Police haven't determined if the substance on the rag was meant to subdue
the woman.

(USA Today)

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