Oh, my heart hurts. Police seem to have pulled back on the search for missing Colorado 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. Instead this morning they're calling for people to pay attention to an FBI profile (yes, Criminal Minds is real y'all) of the suspect they think snatched the fourth grader on her walk to school a week ago.
It certainly puts the whole "we found a body while searching for Jessica Ridgeway" story in perspective, doesn't it? Westminster police have told us that they can't confirm that body found is related to Jessica's disappearance, but it's more than a little chilling that the plea to help find the kidnapper wasn't accompanied by yet another plea to get Jessica's face out there, isn't it?
At the very least it means the police in Westminster aren't satisfied with the response they've gotten from appealing to people with the use of Jessica's face. At the very worst, well ... I don't know if I want to go there. We know what the worst is, and it really is the worst thought imaginable in a missing child case.
Call me a cynic. Or just call me a realist. We all know about the crucial 48 hour-window in searches like this. But all cops were able to come up with in that time was Jessica's backpack, found in a town 6 miles from her house.
We're now a full week out from the morning she left home to walk to school, and there's no good news for us. Just this: the FBI has described the guy who likely abducted Jessica. They're key points:
1. He may suddenly miss work our scheduled appointments.
2. He may leave town suddenly.
3. He may show a sudden change in drug or alcohol usage.
4. He may attempt to change his appearance, even changing his vehicle.
No offense to the FBI. They know their stuff, but it's all rather vague. Not nearly as solid as say, a picture of a little girl who we can look clearly at and say "hey, I saw her!" or "nope, never saw her."
So there must be some reason why the cops have moved from "let's find Jessica, here's her photo" to "let's find this shadowy figure who dared steal a little girl away from her family."
I'm hoping that all this is is another means of getting Jessica home. But sadly, we can't be so sure.
Does the sudden focus on the suspect instead of Jessica give you an uneasy feeling? Do you think you know this guy? Will you share the information about him?
Image via Westminster Police