By Stephen Mayer, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -
Local family members joined the prayers for a missing Colorado 10-year-old.
Jessica Ridgeway has family in Independence, and they gathered at 6 p.m. Wednesday at McCoy Park just off U.S. Highway 24 and Delaware Street.
The family said everyone is invited to gather in prayer for their girl and they wanted to send a message to all her family in Colorado that those in Kansas City are sending prayers their way.
"We are doing everything we can," family friend Amy Stubbs said. "She should be home with them. They shouldn't have to go through this - no one should."
Jessica went missing less than a week ago. Police in the Denver suburb of Westminister say they found the 10-year-old's backpack six miles from her home. Authorities have been scouring the area looking for her.
Jessica's father said he was questioned by the FBI as part of their ongoing investigation. They asked him if he believes his daughter's mother, Sarah Ridgeway, is part of his little girl's disappearance.
The two have been involved in a custody dispute but put aside their differences to make a plea to get their daughter home safe. Both said they know neither had anything to do with the girl's disappearance.
"When I sat down with the FBI, they asked me if I thought she did it. I told them there is no way that I would ever believe that. I mean, just the same as she would tell them that I wouldn't do something like that," Jeremiah Bryant said.
Sarah Ridgeway says she wants her to just walk home.
"With all the people there, it is still too quiet. It needs to be lively and happy again, the bright voice of my little girl. She needs to come home," Sarah Ridgeway said.
Police released more photos of Jessica along with a short home video, saying it would help the public learn her mannerisms and the sound of her voice.
They're asking the public to notice some of the fifth-grader's distinguishing characteristics, such as a small gap between her two front teeth and a sore on the top of her nose below where her eyeglasses sit, adding that she might not be wearing glasses.
Police are looking into whether Monday's abduction of a girl in Wyoming was related to Jessica's disappearance. That 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and left on the side of a road.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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