Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Child Predator Is Stalking Denver


"Park Dietz, the founder of the Threat Assessment Group of Newport Beach, Calif., said the type of person who would abduct and kill a child tends to be unsophisticated.
He said such people tend to be toothless and ugly, less educated and poor. They drive dilapidated vehicles, are impulsive and often have substance-abuse problems. Having their way with a child of interest for a very short time is, to them, more valuable than the life of the child."---Denver Post (10-14-12)
On Friday, October 5,  a ten-year-old girl named Jessica Ridgeway was kidnapped by a predator on her way to school in Westminster, Colorado. Her body was subsequently found near an abandoned mine shack in the vicinity of Pattridge Park Open Space in Arvada. Identification of the remains was delayed because the child's body was "not intact." According to media reports, her body may have been found in a plastic bag dumped in a field.

Here is an interactive map that shows where Jessica disappeared, where her backpack and water bottle were found, and where her body was found. The Denver Channel (10-12-12) reports that the  authorities may be able to use cell-phone towers near these three locations to identify the killer's phone number:

Investigators hope cell phone records could lead to a break in the search for the person who abducted Jessica Ridgeway.
ABC News reports that they're checking records of cell phone towers near Jessica's home, the location in Superior where her backpack was found and the park in Arvada where a body was found. If a phone registered at all three towers, it could lead to a suspect.

Stories about Jessica can be found at the Denver Post. The Denver Post has a video of  Agent Dave Joly, an FBI spokesman who is sharing a profile developed by the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit with the public. Agent Joly is asking members of the public to come forward if they notice that someone in their circle might have changed his behavior, personality, work habits, or appearance since the Friday, October 5 murder. The Denver Channel (10-11-12) has published an article about the FBI's general profile of the killer.
The mission of the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) is to provide behaviorally based operational support for complex and time-sensitive cases. Resources are focused on crimes perpetrated against child victims, including abductions, mysterious disappearances of children, homicides, and sexual victimization.
The FBI BAU recommendations are as follows:

Often, someone in the community will unknowingly be associated with the offender of the crime and may be in a position to observe behavioral changes in that person. They will recognize the changes and may even question the person about it but may not relate the changes to that person’s involvement in the crime.
Immediately following the incident, he may miss work. The absence will be sudden and unplanned. He may either be a “no show” or he may offer a plausible excuse such as illness, death in the family, car trouble, etc.
He may miss scheduled appointments/commitments and be unaccounted for during this period. These appointments/commitments may include such things as medical appointments, meetings with a probation officer, prior commitment to a friend or family member, drug test, etc.
He may suddenly leave town, either with no explanation or with some plausible reason.
This individual may express an intense interest in the status of this investigation and pay close attention to the media. However, some offenders may quickly turn off media accounts or try to redirect conversations concerning the victims or their families.
There may be changes in the usual consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
He may make a change in his appearance or alter something to prevent identification, such as changing the look of his vehicle, clean, or discard his vehicle.
The Pattridge Park open space area south of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is dotted with abandoned coal mines. The area is favored by road bikers and model airplane flyers on weekends.
People in the Denver metropolitan area are understandably very scared. Some media reports have cited experts who predict that this child-killer may strike again soon, and---based on what he did to this child---that this is probably not the first time he has harmed a child.
Several experts described personality traits of men who kidnap and murder kids.
Roger Depew, a former chief of behavioral sciences with the FBI, is the founder of the Academy Group, a mix of behavioral scientists who worked with the FBI.
Commenting about Jessica's backpack, which was found in Superior in an upright position, Depew said it suggests the object wasn't tossed there, but rather the backpack was placed in a certain position so it would be found.
"That has a tinge of taunting, that he is announcing that he is the one, he had her, he put the bag there," Depew said. "They think they are smarter than the police. Sometimes they leave a note in the bag."
Authorities have reported previously the backpack contained a water bottle with Jessica's name on it, but they will not comment on what else, if anything, was found in or around the backpack.
The fact that the backpack was found northwest of where Jessica was abducted and her body was later found southwest of where she was last seen could indicate that the killer took a day or two to dispose of the body, Depew said.
The open space where Jessica's body was found — near an abandoned mine — sounds like an island less frequented by people in a populated area, Depew said.
The killer probably knew where it was and felt comfortable taking his time there, Depew said.
Park Dietz, the founder of the Threat Assessment Group of Newport Beach, Calif., said the type of person who would abduct and kill a child tends to be unsophisticated.
He said such people tend to be toothless and ugly, less educated and poor. They drive dilapidated vehicles, are impulsive and often have substance-abuse problems. Having their way with a child of interest for a very short time is, to them, more valuable than the life of the child.

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