Austin Sigg seeks plea deal in killing of Jessica Ridgeway |

Austin Sigg seeks plea deal in killing of Jessica Ridgeway

FILE - This booking photo released by the Westminster, Colo., Police Department shows Austin Reed Sigg. There could be a plea deal for Sigg, a teen charged with kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl on her way to school in suburban Denver. A hearing to discuss a possible plea deal was scheduled for Tuesday Oct. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Westminster Police Department, file)
AP | Westminster Police Department

GOLDEN — A judge is set to consider a possible plea deal on Tuesday for a teen charged with killing and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl kidnapped on her way to school in suburban Denver.

The hearing comes two days before Austin Sigg, 18, is set to stand trial and nearly a year after Jessica Ridgeway’s disappearance set communities on edge. Lawyers and court officials declined to release details of the possible plea, citing a gag order in the case.

Investigators searched for over two weeks for Jessica’s abductor before Sigg — who lived less than a mile away — was arrested.

Detectives say Sigg confessed to killing the fifth-grader, but denied sexually assaulting her.

If convicted, he would face life in prison but could be paroled after 40 years. Sigg can’t get the death penalty because he was 17 at the time of the slaying.

Jessica left home to walk to school in Westminster on Oct. 5 but never arrived. Hundreds of people helped search for her and two days later her backpack was found in Superior, a town about 6 miles away from her home. A few days later, human remains later identified as Jessica’s were later found in a park and police announced that Jessica’s parents — Sarah Ridgeway of Westminster and Jeremiah Bryant of Missouri —weren’t under suspicion and they were looking for an “unknown suspect.” They told residents that the abductor was probably someone they knew and urged them to be watchful for any suspicious changes in behavior. Officers guarded crosswalks and photographed cars in the area. Mailboxes and trees were encircled by ribbons in Jessica’s favorite color, purple.

Sigg was arrested after his mother called police. She said he turned himself in.

Sigg dropped out of high school after 11th grade and later earned a GED. Former classmates say he was intelligent but complained about school and was bullied for having a high voice.

At Jessica’s memorial service, Pastor Rick Long of Grace Church said she loved Disney films, was a member of the peewee cheerleading squad at a nearby high school, and had been looking forward to dressing up as a zombie lifeguard for Halloween.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.

Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.

Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User