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Colo. teen heard on 911 call saying he killed girl

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 11:18 am

GOLDEN, Colo. — A search that set parents in the Denver area on edge last fall, had neighbors casting a suspicious eye on neighbors, and left a family grieving the loss of a 10-year-old ended with the teen suspect telling a 911 dispatcher: "I murdered Jessica Ridgeway. I have proof that I did it."

He told the 911 dispatcher that some of Jessica's remains were in the crawl space at his mother's house, according to a recording of the Oct. 23 call played in court during his preliminary hearing Friday. Fifth-grader Jessica disappeared Oct. 5 after she left her house to meet a schoolmate two blocks away so they could walk to school together.

A judge ordered Austin Sigg, 18, to stand trial and be held without bail for Jessica's slaying and a May attack on a jogger at Ketner Lake, which is across the street from Jessica's elementary school. In the attack on the jogger, investigator Michael Lynch testified that Sigg used homemade chloroform concocted with a recipe found on the Internet to attempt to subdue a woman.

Lynch testified at the hearing that Sigg first confessed to his mother, telling her that he kidnapped Jessica as she walked past his car, bound her arms and her legs with zip ties, placed her in the back seat, drove around for a little bit, then took her to his house.

He tried to strangle her, first with zip ties and later with his hands, Lynch testified. He later dismembered her, he said.

Sigg, now 18, is charged with murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and robbery in Jessica's death. Prosecutors have added three counts of sexual exploitation of a child because child pornography was allegedly found during the investigation.

He also faces an attempted kidnapping charge for the attack on the jogger. An attempted murder charge was dropped by prosecutors and the judge found there wasn't enough evidence for an attempted sexual assault charge in that case.

Hundreds of officers canvassed the area after Jessica's disappearance, investigated leads and took DNA samples as parents waited with their children at bus stops and thought twice about letting them out of sight. The FBI took the unusual step of asking residents to observe their family members and neighbors for suspicious behavior.

One of those residents contacted authorities Oct. 19 to report Austin Sigg because of his fascination with death, Westminster Detective Luis Lopez testified. Two FBI agents responded and took a DNA sample from Sigg on Oct. 19, four days before his mother called 911.

Lopez testified that Sigg attended a community college because of their mortuary sciences program.