Everything about the murder of 10-year-old Colorado girl Jessica Ridgeway has been unsettling for parents. Now add to it the fact that Austin Sigg, the suspect arrested and charged with killing the child, is just a child himself at 17. Coupled with the arrests of two teenagers in New Jersey on charges of killing 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale, and it's starting to feel like we're living in a world where our kids are suddenly flipping out on us.
Except, maybe they're not. Since the news broke yesterday that Austin's mom had turned him in to Westminster Police, people have been coming out of the woodwork to say there were signs all along that something wasn't right with Austin Sigg. In an odd way, it should make us all feel better.
The 17-year-old was reportedly "obsessed with death," and girls in town reported feeling particularly uncomfortable with the way he would stare at them. One even told CNN that she feared what he might have done to her if she hadn't had her pitbull with her when she encountered Sigg at the lake where he's suspected of attacking a jogger on Memorial Day.
These comments all come after the arrest, and we all know how some people favor hyperbole, especially when there is a news crew about. But Sigg was studying mortuary science in college and had shown an aptitude for forensics in high school.
To say he was "obsessed with death" suddenly doesn't sound so far off, does it? It certainly puts in context the allegations that pieces of Jessica's body were found in the crawlspace beneath the Sigg home.
All these "signs" might not have been enough to prevent this horrible tragedy, but they do put my mind at ease. Because it means there WERE signs. It means we don't just have happy-go-lucky teenagers snapping. We have a teenager who was already showing signs of something dark and disturbing, a teenager who it now seems was destined to snap.
Do the details of Austin Sigg's past make this horrific tragedy any easier to understand?
Image via Westminster Police Department