WESTMINSTER, Colo (AP):The week-long search for a 10-year-old Colorado girl last Friday became a murder investigation after authorities identified a body found in a suburban Denver park as that of fifth-grader Jessica Ridgeway.
"Our focus has changed from the search for Jessica to a mission of justice for Jessica," said Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk.
Anxious parents kept close watch over their children. Fuelling the frustration: The FBI again urged residents to report any suspicious activity by people they know.
"We want you to look for changes of habits, patterns, peculiar absences of those around you and report it to law enforcement," said Jim Yacone, FBI special agent in charge of Denver.
The United States Marshals Service, immigration officials and state Department of Corrections were reviewing registered sex offenders in the area, Yacone said without elaborating.
Investigators have received more than 1,500 tips from the public. Authorities also have searched more than 500 homes and more than 1,000 vehicles but still need the public's help, Yacone said.
left home for school
Jessica was last seen beginning a short walk from her home to Witt Elementary School on the morning of October 5. She never arrived.
A search by hundreds of law officers did not start until hours later because Jessica's mother works nights and missed a call from school officials who wanted to tell her Jessica wasn't there.
Officers have searched homes and yards and guarded crosswalks. They've photographed cars entering the neighbourhood. Mailboxes and trees were encircled by ribbons in Jessica's favourite colour, purple.
Law-enforcement leaders said they would not disclose more information, saying it would jeopardise the investigation.