Every Parent’s Worst Nightmare: 10-Year-Old Colorado Girl Disappears On Walk To School

amber alertIt sounds like the plot of a movie. Any moment Jason Statham or Matt Damon should be showing up to personally search for this little girl, and beat up a billion bad guys along the way. Unfortunately, it’s not a Hollywood story line, and Jessica Ridgeway is really missing.

Jessica is a 10-year-old girl living in Westminster, Colorado. Friday morning, she disappeared during her three-block walk to a local park. There, she meets up with other neighborhood kids and they travel on to school together. Jessica makes this walk every morning. But on this day, she didn’t meet her friends in the park and she didn’t make it to school. Now, hundreds of people are searching the surrounding area in below-freezing temperatures to try to find this little girl.

The police admit that they got a late start on the search. Jessica’s mom works an overnight shift at a local tech company. She slept through the school’s phone call, letting her know that her daughter never made it to class that day. By the time the mother woke up eight hours later, the police had lost valuable time. Still, more than 50 officers and FBI agents, as well as over 100 volunteers, combed through parks and trails, went door-to-door, and used bloodhounds to try to track the young girl.

The police did note to local journalists that Jessica’s mom was currently in a custody battle with the girl’s father, who lives in another state. However, the police do not believe that the little girl is with him.

So far, the search has not been successful, but police are hoping that the weather will clear up and allow for search helicopters to start circling the area. And even more volunteers are expected to join in the effort to find this little girl.

These moments, when we hear about such an extraordinarily terrifying and potentially heartbreaking situation that another parent is having to experience, these moments have to bring us together. As communities, they make want to rise up and protect our own. As parents, they make us take a step back from whatever pettiness is going on in our lives to pray for this child and her family.

Whether it’s the fault of television shows like Criminal Minds or the sensationalism of the news media over certain stories, plenty of parents have had nightmares about that moment. We’ve been terrified at this thought. It feels real to us because in our heads, we’ve gone there. We’ve seen something this awful happen.

Last year, a young girl went missing from my hometown. Her name was Aliahna Lemmon, and the outcome was horrible. Our community was shocked by the incident. This morning, reading this news of Jessica Ridgeway, I couldn’t help but send my heart out to every person in Westminster, Colorado. I am sure that all of them feel a very personal sense of fear and anguish.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Jessica Ridgeway, her family, and the entire community of people out searching for her. I hope she is brought home safe. This story sounds like the beginning of a movie, so let’s all hope it comes with a happy ending as well.

(Photo: NewsNet5)

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    • cory

      The mother works over-night? So, did the girl spend her nights alone in the house?

    • C.J.

      Praying this little girl is found quickly and safely, don’t even want to imagine what her parents and family are going through.

    • Bea

      I pray as well this girl is found healthy and safe, with no lasting traumas or injuries.

    • M.

      No, I think a parents worst nightmare would be to have their child go missing and that child NOT be a white little girl.

    • cory

      In the case of the missing 10-year-old girl in Colorado, I’m sorry, but the mom dropped the ball. Check-out the reports below (links below). The girl lived in the same house as her mother, her aunt, and her grandmother. The girl’s mother works nights, but she got home at 7:30 am. She then sent her daughter to school at 8:30 am. The girl’s route to school was to walk 3 blocks to a park, meet-up with her friends from school, and then they all walk to school together. The mother then goes to sleep. When the school calls the mother to tell her that her daughter has not made it to school, the mother is asleep and misses the call. When the mother finally wakes-up about 8 hours later, she finds her daughter is not at home and is, in fact, missing. So my first question is this: Why didn’t the girl’s mother just walk her daughter the 3 blocks up to the park to meet with the school friends? She was already home from work so she could have easily done so. Secondly, with her daughter walking to school, I’m surprised the mother did not make it a habit to call the school every morning to make sure her daughter had actually arrived at school. I’m sure the mother was tired after working all night, but if she had just taken a few simple steps like 1) walking her daughter the 3 blocks up to the park to meet with her school friends, and/or 2) making it a habit to call the school to make sure her daughter had actually made it to school, her daughter probably would not be missing. The mom dropped the ball (links below):
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2213910/Jessica-Ridgeway-Girl-10-goes-missing-walking-park-THREE-BLOCKS-home-way-school.html

      http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/49318698/#49318698

      • Lawcat

        Call the school each day? That’s insane.

        3 blocks is not far for a 10 year old to walk to meet up with friends. I see many kids in our neighborhood walking or waiting for a bus by themselves. I wouldn’t have a problem with my son doing it if his school was in the area. The thing is, things happen. You can’t bubble wrap your kids from the world; it’s impossible to block them from every creepster and expect them to leave the house. Millions of kids are walking to school everyday without incident, just as millions of kids have done before.

        It’s easy to mom blame in this situation, but is it going to help? No. Let’s focus our ire at the perpetrator.

      • Another Steph

        First of all, using a Daily Mail link does nothing for your argument. Second of all, shaming a mother for working is pretty shitty.

    • cory

      The missing 10-year-old Colorado girl’s backpack has been found in Superior, Colorado. (link below):
      http://www.timescall.com/news/longmont-local-news/ci_21719734/jessica-ridgeway-search-hunt-missing-westminster-girl-shifts

    • http://www.facebook.com/aemoreira81 Adam Moreira

      I hope that this has a happy ending, but I really fear the worst here. But having read @2b4101415e4d06020b3bd822cdfc66f0:disqus’s link, I now fear the worst…and the local sex offender registry should be looked through for suspects, as I suspect that a career criminal lured or snatched her from the street.

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