In many ways the case of missing Colorado 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway has been looking like any missing child case. She was walking to school and then, blam, she was gone. But we're on day six of the search for Jessica, and already this case is shaping up to be very different from the rash of child disappearances that have kept us glued to our computers and TV screens, fingers crossed that the child would be found.
The difference? Jessica Ridgeway's parents. By this point in a typical missing child case -- at least the ones we've seen in the past year or so -- the parents are already at odds with one another, tearing one another apart in the media. But not Sarah Ridgeway. Not Jeremy Bryant.
The couple is divorced, and they live in different states. Sarah was the custodial parent who sent Jessica off to school on Friday morning for the walk to meet her cousin and continue the trip to elementary school. Jeremy, on the other hand, lives with his grandmother in Missouri.
And yet, the two are in complete agreement right now. They just want their daughter back. Sarah and Jeremy both have even gone so far as to tell the media that the other is innocent. They have complete faith in one another as parents. As for why they didn't make a public statement earlier? Simple: Sarah wanted to wait for Jeremy to get into town from Missouri. She wasn't moving forward without him.
It all sounds like they're doing their jobs, doing what parents of kids like Lyric Cook ('memba her?) or Ayla Reynolds wouldn't. Ridgeway and Bryant have seemingly done what too many parents in this situation fail to do: they've put their daughter first.
Maybe they're brilliant actors who are hiding some sick scheme to rid the world of their beautiful 10-year-old, but watching them, I don't see that. I see two parents who are genuinely heartbroken. I see two parents who realize that now isn't the time to play out the games many split couples resort to when there's an audience.
This could be the most powerful weapon police have against an abductor. They don't have to wait around until two grown people stop acting like children and cooperate. With parents who are open and honest, cops can get a jump on the investigation. They can -- hopefully -- bring poor little Jessica Ridgeway home safe and sound. Hopefully.
What do you think of how the parents are speaking out in this case? Do they sound "right"?
Image via Westminster Police