Update: Police have made an arrest in the murder of Jessica Ridgeway. The seventeen year old suspect’s name is being withheld because he is a juvenile. Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said “this morning the Ridgeway family was notified of this arrest. We hope and pray this arrest gives them some measure of closure in dealing with their horrible loss and tragedy.” The teen will be charged with two counts of first degree murder. This same teen will also be charged with attempted abduction involving a case on May 28th in which a woman told police she fought off an attacker who grabbed her from behind and put a rag over her mouth. Should he be convicted, he should face the ultimate penalty, although this particularly person’s life isn’t worth much.
Update: Body of missing ten-year old, Jessica Ridgeway found in Pattridge Park, not far from her home. Police have now confirmed the dismembered body discovered in the park was indeed Jessica’s. Police Chief Lee Birk said “our focus has changed from a search for Jessica to a mission of justice for Jessica”. He continued, “we recognize that there is a predator at large in our community and we are doing everything within our power to apprehend that individual”. Hopefully, this predator will be apprehended before he strikes again.
A body in Colorado was discovered in Pattridge Park an area dotted with abandoned mines. Police are not yet releasing whether it’s Jessica Ridgeway, the ten-year old girl who disappeared, but there is little doubt the police already know. The park is within several miles of her home and it would be highly coincidental if it’s not her. Certainly we all hope it’s not, and I would be thrilled to be wrong in this case, but more likely, another innocent child has been taken by a predator. It’s become an epidemic. Hopefully she’s found alive but that won’t negate the facts. The chances of finding an abducted child alive is under 5%. In Florida for example, it’s 3%. It’s difficult to remain calm and clear thinking when an innocent, the most innocent among us, is savagely murdered but we must do just that, even in the face of great evil. As a country, as a society, we must do more to protect our children. We must ensure these senseless killings are not allowed to go on. What does it say about this country that there are so many sick individuals who get there kicks and fulfill their perverse needs by hurting and killing children? What can we do today to protect our kids? First of all, I suggest enrolling children in a good Martial Arts School. Most credible schools, teach safety awareness. I have taught many children self-defense, including my own, throughout my twenty years as a Martial Artist but I also teach awareness; how to defend oneself before an event occurs. Kids need to know if they see someone they don’t know, walking towards them, they should cross the street, run away quickly. Awareness is a great deterrent to someone who lies in wait, where being secretive is part of their game. We don’t want to scare our children, but in the interest of safety, ignorance is definitely not bliss. We must explain, if approached by a stranger to yell and scream “Stranger”. We must tell our kids to fight back. If abducted, as I stated earlier, the odds are, he/she won’t be seen alive again. Fingers to the eyes is highly effective in warding off an attacker and difficult to defend, along with kicks to the groin. If you live in a community where a “nice” man, who’s 35 or older, lives by himself or with his mother, that should raise a red flag. Are there exceptions, of course, but being aware of our surroundings is our first, best, defense. Profiling, as long as you’re not singling out one particular group is not a bad thing, it’s a wise thing. Laws in this country must be changed. The mandatory sentence for kidnapping, rape and murder of a child, should be death. I’m not interested in the arguments against the death penalty. With all of the DNA evidence today, the police know for certain who’s guilty, particularly in rape cases. Is it a deterrent? Not necessarily but the point is to ensure the perpetrator never commits another heinous crime. Laws need to protect innocent citizens as much as they protect the accused.