"She was in the wrong place, at the wrong time"

“She Was in the Wrong Place, at the Wrong Time”

  • 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school.
  • A shy and quiet 17-year-old Austin Sigg confessed to the murder. The testimony stated he was sexually aroused by the dismemberment of his victim.

It’s hard to comprehend how one can kill another human being. It gets even more challenging when the perpetrator is a child. Such as the Murder of James Bulger, a two-year-old who was abducted, tortured and murdered by two ten-year-old boys, Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. Or Mary Flora Bell, an 11-year-old who strangled two little boys in Scotswood, the suburb of Newcastle upon Tyne in England. And Kobe Child Murders that shocked Japan.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were products of broken families. Mary Bell was abused by her biological mother, a prostitute specializing in sadomasochism, by selling her daughter clients. The "killer kid" in this story is Austin (Reed) Sigg – a “gothic”, shy and quiet 17-year-old who despite having a father of convicted felon, Sigg didn’t show any early warning signs.

On October 5th, 2012, 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school, and the national manhunt that at one point included more than 1,000 people and 75 law enforcement agencies started.

Jessica Ridgeway

Jessica Ridgeway, a fifth-grader and a member of the cheerleading squad, left home to walk to school in one of Denver’s western suburbs. She never arrived.

Jessica Ridgeway
Jessica’s disappearance caused panic among parents across Denver who were concerned about the safety of their communities and children.

Hundreds of people joined the search. Jessica’s parents were thoroughly questioned by the FBI, who is now responding to missing children cases, and asked if anyone in that family could have harmed Jessica. All the members of the family denied any involvement. Jessica's father, Jeremiah Bryant, had been ordered to appear in court to answer questions about not paying child support.

Jessica's father Jeremiah Bryant
Jessica's father Jeremiah Bryant.
Jessica's mother Sarah Ridgeway
Mother Sarah Ridgeway.

Local authorities and FBI urged residents to watch for any suspicious changes in neighbors’ behavior. Parents escorted their children to and from schools, officers patrolled on the crosswalks and photographed cars in the area.

Jessica Ridgeway Memorial
Jessica was supposed to meet friends at the park before heading to school.

Two Days later, Jessica’s backpack was found about 6 miles from her home. A little later, human remains at the nearby park, identified as Jessica's.

Jessica Ridgeway's body
Jessica’s body was found in Arvada, about seven miles from home.

Austin Sigg

After few weeks since Jessica went missing, a concerned resident tipped the authorities about Austin Sigg – because the youngster had a fascination with death.

Austin Sigg
Austin Sigg in 7th grade yearbook photo.
Austin Sigg
Sigg in the Standley Lake High School yearbook.

Sigg was a high school dropout. His former classmates described him as intelligent but not interested in school and that he was bullied for having a high voice. You can judge about his voice watching the police interview, where Sigg reveals the details of the twisted plan.

Sigg confessed the kidnapping and murder to his mother Cindy, who then called 911 and turned her son in for murder. At one point, she handed the phone back to Sigg, who confessed to killing Jessica Ridgeway.

Mindy Sigg: “Hi, um, I need you to come to my house … um, my son wants to turn himself in for the Jessica Ridgeway murder.”

The words apparently seemed incredible — that Austin Sigg was turning himself in, admitting to the murder the 10-year-old girl.

Dispatcher: “And what’s going on there. Ma’am, are you there?”

Mindy Sigg: “Did you not hear me? He just confessed to killing her.”

Dispatcher: “I know. I want you to tell me what’s going on. Can you tell me exactly what he said?”

Mindy Sigg: “That he did it and gave me details and her remains are in my house.”

As police were dispatched to the Sigg home the call taker asked if she could speak to Austin and asked how he was feeling.

Austin Sigg: “I don’t exactly get why you’re asking me these questions. I murdered Jessica Ridgeway.”

Dispatcher: “Okay.”

Austin Sigg: “There is … I have proof that I did it … there is no other question. You just have to send a squad car, something down here.”

Austin Sigg also admitted to attacking a jogger at Ketner Lake. He was then asked if he had weapons.

Austin Sigg: “I have knives in my room, um, and we own a few guns, but … I’m giving myself up completely, there will be no resistance whatsoever.”

The dispatcher then is heard once again talking to Mindy Sigg.

Dispatcher: “Is Austin still there with you?”

Mindy Sigg: “Yeah, I’m hugging him (crying).”

Dispatcher: “Okay, you guys are hugging? … Okay, you definitely did the right thing. You tell me when the officers get there, they’re coming to your front door, okay?

He told his mother he was a monster and needs to be punished.

Austin Sigg
Austin Sigg in police custody after the morbid 911 call.

Here's the police interview where Sigg confesses to murder and reveals the details of his twisted plan.

The teen couldn't explain why he did it or why he chose her. “She was at the wrong place, wrong time. It was a random place, a random time. Random everything,” he explained. “I was just driving and just kind of looking. And I saw her…found the place to park. And I parked, and I waited. And she walked by, and I grabbed her.”

Austin Sigg at courtoom
Austin Sigg.

Sigg drove Jessica to his house, where he tried to strangle her with zip ties but decided to do it with hands to get more leverage. When he noticed she was still twitching, he filled a bathtub and forced her face into the hot water. In that very same bathtub, he dismembered the little girl. Dismemberment sexually aroused Sigg, who disposed of some of her organs, that were later found in the park, but left her vagina with a cross in it and hid them in a crawl space beneath their home.

Zip ties inside Sigg’s Jeep that was used to kidnap Jessica.

The crawl space at Sigg's home where some of the remains were found.

He was sentenced to life in prison plus 86 years for the senseless killing of an innocent girl.

Austin Sigg at courtoom
Sigg in tears while hearing the guilty verdict.
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