The teen accused of killing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway has admitted to his crimes and pleaded guilty in court two days before he was to stand trial. Austin Sigg, 18, admitted to kidnapping and murdering the young girl as she walked to school one year ago.
The case shook the Westminster, Colorado community, which turned out in full force to help search for the missing girl. Her remains were found in garbage bags in a local park just days later, horrifying the town. Sigg turned himself in to police with a phone call to 911.
"I murdered Jessica Ridgeway. I have proof that I did it," Sigg told police. He revealed that some of the girl's remains were in the crawl space at his mother's home, leading police to make the arrest. Sigg also confessed to attacking a jogger months earlier.
Sigg took the plea deal against the advice of his attorneys and admitted to taking the girl as she walked to school, then tying her up and trying to strangle her before finally dismembering the girl's body. Prosecutors were hoping to try Sigg as an adult, but because he was 17 at the time, he will stand trial as a minor and will not be eligible for the death penalty but could spend the rest of his life behind bars.
The community gathered around the Ridgeway family in a way not usually seen… over 2,000 people turned out for a memorial service last year. Even Governor John Hickenlooper, who has a son the same as Jessica, told the family that he stood with them.
"Every single person in this state is with the Ridgeways in every single way that we may be," the Governor said.
Jessica's parents have been particularly silent throughout the ordeal, while other family members have described wanting to seek revenge on Sigg for the brutality of his crimes and for taking the life of their little girl.