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    Austin Sigg Sentenced Life plus 86Y For Murder of Jessica Ridgeway

    (Golden, CO – November 19, 2013) Austin Reed Sigg, DOB: 1-17-95, was sentenced to life in prison plus 86 years for the the kidnapping, sexual assault, murder and dismemberment of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway in October, 2012.

    Jessica was last seen on the morning of October 5, 2012. She left her Westminster home on the way to a park where she would normally meet her friends and then walk to school. Jessica didn’t arrive at the park or at school. Her disappearance sparked a massive search led by the Westminster Police Department. This was one of the largest searches in Colorado history with over 75 law enforcement agencies and community volunteers searching around the clock for Jessica.

    In the week that followed after her disappearance, over 1,800 emergency services workers participated in the investigation and search. There were 1,668 pieces of evidence collected, 6,372 tips received and 40.2 square miles of fields searched. Investigators canvassed 1,234 houses and searched 14 bodies of water.

    The first of Jessica’s remains were found in Arvada on October 12, 2012.

    Austin Sigg was arrested on October 23, 2012 at his home. He was 17 years old at the time. Austin Sigg told his mother that he had killed Jessica. They called the Westminster Police Department.

    The District Attorney charged Austin Sigg as an adult.

    On September 30, 2013, two days before his trial was scheduled to begin, Austin Sigg’s attorneys contacted the District Attorney’s prosecution team and told them that their client wanted to plead guilty.

    On October 1, 2013, Austin Sigg pled guilty to all of the charges which had been filed against him. “There was no plea bargain. There was no "deal,” said District Attorney Peter Weir, “No charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.” 

    "Mr. Sigg has been held fully accountable for his acts. We hope for closure and peace for Jessica’s family and our community,” said District Attorney Peter Weir, “The impact of Mr.Sigg’s actions on Jessica’s family, the community, and on everyone in law enforcement and prosecution who were part of the heroic effort to find her, and then to bring her killer to justice, is immense. Because Austin Sigg was 17 when he committed the crime, he could be eligible for parole after 40 years on the First Degree Murder count. It was important that we get the maximum sentence to ensure that he remains in prison for the rest of his life.”

    At the end of the two-day sentencing hearing, having listened to hours of sometimes graphic description of the horrors inflicted on Jessica Ridgeway, Chief District Judge Stephen Munsinger sentenced Sigg to the maximum possible prison sentence. The judge listened to presentations from both the prosecution and the defense, including testimony from an expert in juvenile violence offered by the prosecution and a defense expert who specialized in the development of the juvenile brain. Many members of Jessica Ridgeway’s family also addressed the court.

    Judge Munsinger made a finding that Austin Sigg was a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP). This was in spite of the fact that sex offender evaluators did not find that Sigg met the SVP specific criteria. Judge Munsinger said that if they did not find Sigg to be an SVP then the instument they used needs to be changed.

    Judge Munsinger said that this case cried out for a life sentence. He said, “Evil apparently is real. It was present in our community.” He sentenced Sigg to life in prison plus 86 years. The sentence is as follows:

    • Life in prison for First Degree Murder after deliberation (F1), parole eligible 40Y;

    • Two counts Second Degree Kidnapping (F2) 48Y prison, concurrent to each other, consecutive to life in prison;

    • Sexual Assault on a Child (F3) 24Y prison to life, consecutive to all;

    • Robbery (F4) 5Y prison, consecutive to all;

    • Sexual Assault (F3), merges into Sex Assault Child for sentencing;

    • Two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Child (F4) 6Y prison, concurrent to each other, consecutive to all other;

    • Sexual Exploitation of a Child (F6) 18 months prison, concurrent to the other two counts of sexual exploitation of a child;

    • Attempted Second Degree Kidnapping (F5) (Kettnor Reservoir victim) 8Y prison, consecutive to all others

    • Five Violent Crime Counts – sentence enhancers

    Pam Russell
    DA Public Information

    November 19, 2013

    Last Updated: 1-14-2014
  • The filing of a criminal charge is merely a formal accusation that an individual has committed a crime(s).
    A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. See Colo. RPC 3.6.