WESTMINSTER - The family of Jessica Ridgeway - the 10-year-old girl who went missing on Oct. 5 - spoke out on Tuesday as a heart-wrenching, statewide search rages on for their precious girl.
Jessica's family spoke to 9NEWS Reporter Dave Delozier Tuesday afternoon for the first time since Jessica was reported missing on her walk to school.
They encouraged community members to continue to help in the search attempts and thanked everyone for their donations of time, money, food and effort.
"We are strong, and we're just going to get stronger," Jessica's mom Sarah told 9NEWS' Delozier. "[Jessica's] my rock. She's all of our rock. When you're down, she'll come around, make you laugh, hug [and] kiss [you or] dance."
Her mom says Jessica is the light of the household. Even with all the people in the home, her mother says the house it too quiet without her exuberant spirit.
"I want her to come walking back through that door," Sarah said. "I need her to come walking back through that door."
Her mom said math is one of Jessica's favorite subjects and she would never miss school.
"It's not anything I want any parent to ever go through," Sarah said.
However, Sarah remains hopeful.
"We are a strong family," Sarah said. "We will get through this. We will find her and take care of her."
Jessica's father Jeremiah spoke also on Tuesday - echoing Sarah's sentiments and concerns.
"I just want to find my daughter. I just want her back home," Jeremiah said. "It's by far the worst thing I've ever been through - still is."
Even though Jessica's parents are separated and her father lives in Missouri, police asked both parents whether the other would have taken Jessica. Both parents said no.
Her family has kept her room tidy - just waiting for her return.
Purple and green are Jessica's favorite colors, thus Jessica's family hopes to "paint the town purple" so the community can remember she's missing.
Authorities continued to search the area around Jessica's home as well as some open-field areas. They brought dogs to help them in their efforts on Tuesday.
In a later press conference, Matarasso said 400 homes will be searched in Jessica's neighborhood on Tuesday.. He says authorities are halfway done with their search of the homes. Matarasso says they are working with Jessica's family to talk to the media, however it is not known at this time when that statement will be made.
Westminster Police released two new photos and a video of Jessica on Tuesday to help people better identify her.