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Body discovered is missing Colorado 10-year-old

Posted at 11:31 PM, Oct 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-12 23:31:46-04

WESTMINSTER, Colo. (KDVR) – Police announced Friday afternoon the body of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway has been found.

Jessica disappeared while on her way to school one week ago. 

“Our focus has changed from a search for Jessica to a mission of justice for Jessica,” says Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk.

“You can’t begin to comprehend the grief that (the family) is going through,” he says. “I want the family to know that me and every single person involved in this case… that our thoughts and prayers go out to them and they’ve been in our hearts from the beginning.”

Workers picking up trash found her body in Pattridge Park Open Space in Arvada Wednesday afternoon. The body was identified using DNA tests.

“There is a predator at large in our community. We are doing everything in our power to apprehend that predator,” Birk says. “We are doing everything in our power to keep our community and our children, our most precious commodity, safe.”

Read more on this developing story from our sister station KDVR in Denver.