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Oct 6, 2012 7:33 PM by Stefanie Boe

UPDATE: Amber Alert continues for missing girl

9News WESTMINSTER - Authorities, along with hundreds of volunteers in Westminster, are looking for a 10-year-old girl who was last seen walking to school Friday.

Westminster Police have taken over a nearby rec center and turned it into a command post for the search of Jessica Ridgeway. On Saturday, more than 500 volunteers came to the Westview Recreation Center, located at 10747 W. 108th Ave in Westminster, to help look for Jessica.

Police say they may need more volunteers throughout the day. Volunteer updates are posted on the department's Twitter account.

On Saturday, a dive team went into Ketner Reservoir in order to rule the area out in the search.

Jessica usually walks three blocks from Morris Street to Chelsea Park where she would meet up with a large group of friends before walking 1.3 miles to school. In that three block radius, she disappeared.

Police say Jessica's mother works an overnight shift and her grandmother watches her at night. When Jessica's mother got home at 7:30 a.m. she saw Jessica off to school at 8:30 a.m., according to 9NEWS reporter Kevin Torres.

Police say they got a late start searching because her mother didn't immediately realize she was missing. Officers say her mother slept through calls from school officials to tell her Jessica hadn't arrived.

Westminster police sent out an emergency text alert advising residents to be on the lookout before a system-wide Amber Alert was issued by the CBI Friday evening.

"[We] started activating a lot of personnel to start searching for her," Westminster Police Detective Trevor Materasso said.

An Amber Alert is only issued if authorities fear the child is in immediate danger.

Police say there is no indication that she has been abducted.

Three weeks ago students at an Arvada school saw a man in a dark sedan trying to lure students closer to his vehicle. JeffCo schools sent letters out to all of its schools - including Witt Elementary - where Jessica attends school. Police are looking into whether there's a connection.

Jessica's father, who lives in Missouri, has been in contact with police. The father told investigators he does not know what happened to his daughter.

Jessica's neighbor, Sarah Johnston, says she's very concerned about the safety of the missing 10-year-old.

"It's really hard to wonder what could go on," Johnston said. "She is over at our house all the time. [I] just really miss her."

Search teams are trying to make up for lost time by canvassing the area and going door-to-door, showing her picture to neighbors.

Authorities are urging the public to not randomly search as it will disrupt the search dogs.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of Jessica Ridgeway, please call Westminster police at 303-658-4360.

 

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