Jessica Ridgeway's father: I just want to find my daughterPosted: Updated:
A missing Colorado girl's father has traveled from his home in Independence to a Denver suburb to make an emotional plea for her safe return.
Jeremy Bryant was visibly distraught as he spoke about his desperation after learning that his daughter, Jessica Ridgeway, 10, was missing. The girl's mother also spoke.
The two have been involved in a custody dispute but put aside their differences to make a plea to get their daughter home safe. Both said they know neither had anything to do with the girl's disappearance.
"Bring her back," Jeremy Bryant said. "We will never stop searching."
Her mother made a plea to her daughter to be strong and know her family is fighting to get her home.
Authorities scoured a suburban Denver neighborhood for clues and urged people to be on the lookout Tuesday for Jessica who disappeared Friday on her way to school.
Police released more photos of Jessica along with a short home video, saying it would help the public learn her mannerisms and the sound of her voice.
They're asking the public to notice some of the fifth-grader's distinguishing characteristics, such as a small gap between her two front teeth and a sore on the top of her nose below where her eyeglasses sit, adding that she might not be wearing glasses.
Police are looking into whether Monday's abduction of a girl in Wyoming was related to Jessica's disappearance. That 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and left on the side of a road.
Jessica was last seen Friday morning after leaving home to meet friends at a Westminster park on her way to school.
Police say the only item found so far that they can link to the girl is her backpack, found on a sidewalk in a neighborhood about six miles north of her home two days after she went missing.
Police had it analyzed at the state crime lab after taking DNA samples from her family.
Denver media reported that an FBI evidence team arrived at the girl's home after family members left to record the interview. FBI spokesman Dave Joly confirmed some team members were at the home but declined to discuss what exactly they were doing.
Police spokesman Trevor Materasso implied that investigators were focusing attention on a possible abduction but refused to comment on what techniques police were using as they try to find her.
"We don't want to miss anything. We're going to cover our tracks," Materasso said.
He said her family has cooperated in the investigation from the start.
Searchers have also scoured open areas near where the backpack was found. Authorities planned to wrap up a search of some fields near her home on Tuesday and continue interviews with residents in Jessica's neighborhood.
Authorities got a late start searching because her mother works nights and slept through a call Friday from school officials after Jessica didn't arrive for classes.
People in the area have been moved to help in the search.
More than 800 volunteers turned out for Saturday's search, and over 400 leads have been called in to a tip line. Some of those volunteers planned to hold two vigils for Jessica in the evening.
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