Grisly Jessica Ridgeway murder details revealed, including cause of death
GOLDEN, Colo. — Disturbing details in the Jessica Ridgeway murder trial were revealed in a preliminary hearing for her accused killer Friday morning. The court proceeding was made public thanks to a ruling from the Colorado Supreme Court.
Those new details fell in a timeline beginning when Ridgeway’s backpack was discovered and ending when Austin Sigg’s mother turned her son over to authorities, saying he had admitted to murdering and dismembering the 10-year-old.
Ridgeway’s autopsy was also made public, with prosecutors saying it revealed she died of asphyxiation and suffocation by strangulation.
According to prosecutors, authorities found Ridgeway’s missing backpack on Oct. 7, two days after she went missing. In it, they found Ridgeway’s underwear, water bottle, clothes and boots. Investigators ran the DNA from the underwear and water bottle and found that it matched an attack on a female jogger at Ketner Lake on May 28.
Three days later, prosecutors said two county workers picking up trash discovered a very heavy trash bag in an Arvada open space. They turned it over to their supervisor, who opened it and discovered a small torso with no arms or legs.
Shortly after police released a photo of a cross necklace on Oct. 19, prosecutors said authorities received a tip from a neighbor of Sigg’s, who said she believed the cross belonged to the then-17-year-old.
She said she was worried about Sigg because he was “obsessed with death and decaying human and animal bodies,” and had dropped out of school.
On Oct. 23, shortly after Sigg asked a friend at Arapahoe Community College about the signs of a panic attack, prosecutors say Sigg’s mother, Mindy Sigg, called police and said her son admitted he had killed Ridgeway and attacked the jogger.
She also said there were human remains in her house, and asked officers to arrest her son immediately.
This public viewing of Sigg’s preliminary hearing was made possible by a Thursday ruling, when the Colorado Supreme Court overturned a district court judge’s decision to close the court proceeding.
Despite appeals from his defense team, Sigg entered the hearing recognized as an adult. He was also facing three new charges as of Friday morning, according to the Jefferson County district attorney – all of them dealing with child pornography.
Those three charges were added to the existing 19, which include 13 for the Ridgeway murder and six for the attack at Ketner Lake
If convicted, Sigg could face life in prison. He will not be eligible to face the death penalty due to his age, 17, at the time of the crime. He is now 18.