Police declined to confirm whether an unidentified body in an Arvada, Colorado park a few miles from where 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway went missing last Friday was that of the girl.
The Denver Post reported that hundreds of investigators were combing an area around a collapsed building in Arvada on Wednesday night after a body was discovered.
The Westminster Police Department advised the public via Twitter that a body had been found in Arvada, Colorado, but declined to say whether they believed it was Ridgeway.
This afternoon a body was discovered near the Pattridge Park Open Space in the City of Arvada....more... #jessicaridgeway — Westminster Police (@WestminsterPD) October 11, 2012
At a press conference, spokesman Trevor Materasso reportedly said "we are unable to make a connection to the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway."
However, ABC News cited sources as saying that investigators believed the body to be that of the 10-year old who vanished last week on her walk to school.
Ridgeway's mother, Sarah, has said she last saw her daughter in Westminster last Friday morning when she left for school.
The fifth-grader was supposed to meet friends for the one-mile walk to her elementary school but never showed up.
"Sarah Ridgeway said her daughter woke up at 7:45 a.m. Friday as usual and ate a granola bar before leaving to meet friends at a park about a block away for their walk to Witt Elementary School. Police say Sarah Ridgeway, a night-shift worker, was asleep and missed a call from school reporting Jessica absent. She got the message when she woke at about 4 p.m., eight hours after she said her daughter left the house."
A backpack was found in the Rock Creek neighborhood last Saturday, leading to a widespread search by local citizens and officials, the Post wrote.
Ridgeway's parents have been ruled out as suspects in her disappearance.
"At this point in the investigation, after thoroughly looking at the parents, we’re confident that they’re not involved in the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway," Materasso said.
"The focus shifts to an unknown suspect, as we think that she was abducted."