Wednesday, October 24, 2012

There's Been An Arrest In The Abduction And Murder 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway

Cases that involve the abduction and murder of a child are reprehensible to most people. We can't imagine what evil lie in the heart that could allow another human being to snuff out the life of an innocent child.

Generally we view this person as the proverbial boogie man. We imagine them walking about dressed in tell-tale trench coats looking very much like Quasimodo.  The sad fact is that a person who could do this looks much like your neighbor, your boss, or even your own son.

Jessica, a fifth-grader with blond hair and glasses had been abducted when she was walking to school in Westminster, Colorado. I could scarcely look at her photo because she reminded me so much of my own granddaughter.

After an extensive search, her body was found in Partridge Park in Arvada by police. Sadly her little body was not intact. It had been mutilated, requiring DNA tests to confirm her identity.

What sort of monster could have done this? Who would snuff out the life of this little girl and then dismember her? The answer to this troubling question was just about a mile from Chelsea Park which is where Jessica disappeared.

Then today we learn the answer to that question. Seventeen year old Austin Sigg told his mother that he was responsible for the murder of Jessica Ridgeway. Sigg’s mother did the right thing and called Westminster Police to tell them about his involvement.

According to the police report Sigg cooperated with officers and waived his rights. He then confessed to police in great detail about what happened to Jessica. He also told them that human remains were inside a crawl space under the home.

Nature or nurture, that's always the question isn’t it? Was Austin born a killer or did he become one because of the environment in which he was raised. I don't think I am smart enough to answer this question but it is interesting to note his troubled home life.

Sigg’s father, Robert Sigg, has a long arrest history, including multiple DUIs, assault, domestic violence and drug-dealing arrests.

Robert Sigg has also been involved in numerous civil actions, most recently he was convicted in 2006 for involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme after he was arrested by the FBI.

Sigg had an interest in crime scene investigations so much so that he took second place with a team competing in a CSI event in HOSA's 2012 competition. He was also a finalist in forensic science at that same competition.

He dropped out of Standley Lake High School and went to Arapahoe Community College for mortuary sciences. He attended Warren Tech as well for forensics.

Some people will point to his addiction to violent video games as a precursor to such a violent act. After all correlational and experimental studies have revealed thhat violent video games lead to increases in aggressive behavior and aggressive thinking and decreases in prosocial behavior.

Much has been made of the fact that Sigg was a Goth but I don't see this as relavant.  Over the years I've taught many students who associated themselves with the Goth culture.  Plenty of Goths lead healthy lives, they just prefer  those particular trends in fashion, art, and music.

Two mothers are grieving tonight. One grieves for a daughter who's life was brutally snatched from her. The other mother grieves for a son that committed this heinous crime.  Let us pray that both mothers find peace and healing and let us pray for justice for Jessica.
Westminster Police asked that if you recognize Sigg, and have any information you feel may help officers, please call the tip line at 303-658-4336 or email:

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