Authorities have discovered a body they believe to be that of missing Colorado 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.
While Colorado police who have been searching for Ridgeway since Friday were unable to confirm as of Thursday morning that the body was that of the missing fifth grader, officials discovered the body in Pattridge Park Open Space late Wednesday near an abandoned mining shack, KDVR.com reported. Police said they will hold an early-morning press conference.
Investigators believe Ridgeway as kidnapped by an unknown suspect on her way to school. The latest reports indicate that clues in the investigation consist of a backpack and water bottle that Ridgeway had with her six miles from her home.
The search for Ridgeway was assisted by a social media push that had #JessicaRidgeway trending on Twitter. Police told reporters they received hundreds of tips and reported sightings of the girl in states ranging from Maine to Nevada.
According to Fox News, 25 deputies arrived by bus on Wednesday and fanned out across Jessica's neighborhood, scouring bushes and front yards.
Further reports indicate that divers searched ponds in what Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso described as a "precautionary measure."
Hours after news broke of Ridgeway’s disappearance, officials pointed out a critical delay on the mothers part in reporting her daughter missing.
Sarah Ridgeway said her daughter woke up at 7:45 a.m. Friday as usual and ate a granola bar before leaving to meet friends at a park about a block away for their walk to Witt Elementary School. Police say Sarah Ridgeway, a night-shift worker, was asleep and missed a call from school reporting Jessica absent.
She got the message when she woke at about 4 p.m., eight hours after she said her daughter left the house.
Sarah Ridgeway checked the park, Ridgeway's friends and the school before calling police. Ridgeway never made to the park to meet her friends.