Family and friends release balloons in memory of Jessica - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Loved ones gather in touching tribute for Jessica Ridgeway

INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

Family and friends of a murdered Colorado girl held a vigil Saturday.

Jessica Ridgeway's family in Independence, MO, and dozens of friends gathered in McCoy Park to remember her.

The park has been the gathering spot for family for the past week as they waited to hear what could have happened to Jessica.

Friday after a weeklong search, Westminster police confirmed that a body found in a suburban Denver park was that of 10-year-old Jessica and the investigation has now moved from a search for her to a search for justice.

"I don't see what kind of sick person, or monster could do this to a child," said Jessica's great uncle Larry Moss. "I want to thank everyone that was here, that prayed or was looking for Jessica."

For the second time in a week, friends and family gathered at McCoy Park wearing ribbons that say "Jessica" in her favorite color of purple.

The gathering is showing that, even though the little girl was lost more than 500 miles away, there was love and support for her in Independence, MO.

With a count of "1, 2, 3" and the release of many yellow, green and various shades of purple balloons Jessica's friends and family sent a final gift to the little girl.

Jessica's father lives in Independence and the community has pulled together for the 10-year-old who was kidnapped and murdered in a Denver suburb. Cousins, aunts and uncles wrote messages on balloons, saying they will love and miss Jessica forever.

And, as they watched the balloons float away, their prayer now is that her killer will be caught.

"It would mean a lot. I mean, there's not even words to express how we would feel, to know that the person or persons is caught and behind bars and justice is being served so they cannot do it to somebody else's kid," Katherine Tiedman, Jessica's cousin, said.

"We're doing the best we can. At least she's not being tortured, no more harm can come to her, that she can now rest in peace," Kathy Moss, Jessica's great-aunt, said.

The balloons released Saturday have little papers attached to them that say "RIP Jessica" and, even as they float away, the people in Independence vow to keep supporting her family.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Sidebar: Jessica Ridgeway, father hails from Independence

Updated:

A Colorado girl went missing on Oct. 5. Her father, Jeremy Bryant, lives in Independence. He has traveled to Colorado to assist in the search for her. Independence family hopes for answers after Amber More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    4 dead, 4 injured in Waffle House shooting

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:55:32 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:31 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:31:08 GMT
    Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)Travis Reinking (Courtesy: Metro Police)

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>

    Four people were killed and four others were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House in Antioch. A white man wearing nothing a green jacket went into the restaurant and started firing a gun resembling an AR-15. Police are still searching for him. 

    More >>
  • Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Woman loses home at auction to former attorney

    Saturday, April 21 2018 11:11 PM EDT2018-04-22 03:11:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:23 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:23:15 GMT
    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney. (Source: KPLR/CNN)

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>

    Sawyers watched her Florissant, MO, home go to auction Thursday. The highest bidder was her former attorney.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:35 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:35:19 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Laughter, tears as former first lady Barbara Bush remembered

    Saturday, April 21 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-21 04:04:04 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:35 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:35:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci). Mourners pause as former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush lies in repose during the visitation of former first lady Barbara Bush at St. Martin's Episcopal Church, Friday, April 20, 2018, in Houston.

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>

    As the outpouring of tributes continues for Barbara Bush, the general public can pay its respects to the former first lady.

    More >>
  • 4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    4 dead in Nashville Waffle House shooting; suspect sought

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:34 AM EDT2018-04-22 12:34:45 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:35 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:35:19 GMT
    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. (Source: CNN)
    Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)Police in Tennessee say three people were killed and four were injured in a shooting at a Waffle House restaurant early Sunday. (Source: CNN)

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>

    A customer at the restaurant took the gun from the suspect, who then took off his coat and fled the area. 

    More >>
  • Man killed in random knife attack at California steakhouse

    Man killed in random knife attack at California steakhouse

    Saturday, April 21 2018 5:44 AM EDT2018-04-21 09:44:08 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:35 AM EDT2018-04-22 14:35:15 GMT
    (Ventura County District Attorney's Office via AP). This undated photo provided by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office shows Jamal Jackson. The homeless man has been charged with murder in a random stabbing attack in which a man was killed wh...(Ventura County District Attorney's Office via AP). This undated photo provided by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office shows Jamal Jackson. The homeless man has been charged with murder in a random stabbing attack in which a man was killed wh...

    A homeless man has been charged with murder in the death of a California father who was stabbed in the neck as his 5-year-old daughter sat in his lap in a crowded beachside steakhouse.

    More >>

    A homeless man has been charged with murder in the death of a California father who was stabbed in the neck as his 5-year-old daughter sat in his lap in a crowded beachside steakhouse.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly