The mother of a Colorado teenager admitted Wednesday she made the phone call that led to her 17-year-old son turning himself in to authorities in the abduction and killing of a 10-year-old girl who vanished earlier this month.
"I made the phone call, and he turned himself in. That's all I have to say," Mindy Sigg, Austin Reed Sigg's mother, told the Associated Press, before she broke down in tears and hung up the phone. This is the second report of a mother alerting authorities about her son suspected of murder.
Sigg was arrested after police reportedly received the phone call from his mother on Tuesday night that led them to his home near Ketner Lake, about 1.5 miles away from where Ridgeway, 10, disappeared.
Sigg, who had aspirations to become a mortician, confessed to his mother prior to his arrest, KDVR.com reported.
Ridgeway disappeared Oct. 5 while walking to school in Westminister, Colo. Her body was found five days later in a field at a park.
"We worked on this case nonstop, around the clock, since Oct. 5, the day of her abduction," Police Chief Lee Birk said at news conference. "I believe we've made a significant step towards justice for Jessica."
The break in the case came a day after police said her abduction was linked to the May 28 attempted kidnapping of a 22-year-old runner at another park, the Ketner Lake Open Space.
In that case, a woman fought off a stranger who grabbed her from behind and put a rag over her mouth that smelled of chemicals. Westminster investigator Trevor Materasso said Tuesday police haven't been able to determine if the substance on the rag was meant to subdue the woman.
Authorities didn't say why they think the two cases are linked, but they noted Sigg will be charged in both crimes. His first court appearance is set for 8 a.m. Thursday.
Authorities said they notified the Ridgeway family of the arrest Wednesday morning.
"We hope and pray that this arrest brings them some measure of closure in dealing with this enormous loss that they've suffered," Birk said.
Jessica was walking down a quiet street in her modest neighborhood when she was last seen alive. Her school backpack was found three days later in Superior, another Denver suburb about seven miles northwest of her home.
After her disappearance, more than 1,000 officers and 10 agencies, including the FBI, investigated the case, following up on more than 4,000 leads.
While authorities searched for her killer, high school students volunteered to walk younger students to class to keep them safe and more parents were waiting at bus stops with their children and dropping them off at school.
The number of suspected abduction attempts reported to police also increased, possibly because more children and parents were on alert for suspicious behavior.