We hoped the suspect would be found quickly. We didn’t want the search for a suspect in the murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway to be one of …
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We hoped the suspect would be found quickly. We didn’t want the search for a suspect in the murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway to be one of those stories we write every few years about an ongoing search for a suspect. We were guardedly hopeful that there would not be a long wait.
When a suspect’s name was announced last week with reports that the 17-year-old had turned himself in and confessed, a feeling of anxiety subsided in the community. But as we looked at the neighborhood where the suspect lived, the fact that he lives in the community and attended the same elementary as the victim many of us feel unnerved in a whole different way. The streets shown on TV from helicopter cameras look all too familiar, they are typical streets in Jefferson County in so many ways. So much sadness.
The community was galvanized to start watch groups to safeguard children, escort them to school and back and so forth. We urge these increased efforts to continue. We have heard time and time again how neighbors in most communities don’t know each other and how people only react in time of crisis.
Strong community connections can help make others safe. Teens need adult role models and student mentors as they make the transition from childhood to adulthood. Strong communities can help prevent tragedies. We encourage this effort.
An uneasiness will be with us for a while. But we extend our thanks to the police agencies who led the search for a suspect and all who worked hard to set an environment conducive to having a suspect. We extend our thoughts to the neighborhood and Jessica’s family.
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