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Thread: 10 year old Colorado girl vanishes on way to school

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    Default 10 year old Colorado girl vanishes on way to school

    Girl, 10, Vanishes on Way to School, Backpack Found 6 Miles Away

    By Howard Breuer


    Jessica Ridgeway
    Westminster Colorado Police Department/AP

    Searchers with horses and bloodhounds scoured open areas and neighborhoods in suburban Denver on Monday for 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, who disappeared on her way to school last week.

    Family members started fearing the worst on Sunday when someone found Jessica's backpack in another town six miles away.

    "We'd do anything in the world to get her back," the girl's great-grandmother, Donna Moss, tells KSHB-TV in Missouri. She also says she wonders if her great-granddaughter was "led astray."

    The 4-foot-10-inch-tall, 80-lb. girl disappeared at about 8:30 a.m. on Friday from Westminster, Colo., as she walked the few blocks from her home to a park where she meets friends for a 1 ½-mile walk to Witt Elementary School.

    The school started calling her mother Sarah Ridgeway at 10 a.m. to say Jessica never arrived, but her mother, a night-shift worker who sleeps during the day, didn't get the message until 4:30 that afternoon. Once she did, she called authorities, who issued an Amber Alert.

    The search was in full force by Saturday morning: 800 volunteers scoured the park and surrounding neighborhood while a dive team searched a lake at the park. Police called 12,000 homes, checked every registered sex offender in the area, checked car trunks and closed off neighborhoods.

    Police also searched the home of her father, Jeremiah Bryant, in Independence, Mo., and ruled him out of any involvement.

    To tip police, contact (303) 658-4336 or PDAmberAlert@cityofwestminster.us.
    Jessica Ridgeway, 10, Disappears, Backpack Found 6 Miles Away : People.com

    I was reading some of the comments on this article, and people are really giving both the school and the mother hell. Some are saying that the school should've called the police when they couldn't reach the mother or another contact, others say that schools don't have any reason to do that for an absent child. I have no idea what's common practice where that's concerned. Still others are saying that something is hinky because mom didn't have a back up plan for emergencies during the day.
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    I won't lie - when I read that the mother works the night shift & didn't wake up when they called, I rolled my eyes. As for the school doing something else - I don't agree with that. Hell, luckily they called that morning. At my son's school, they send out automated messages AFTER school is out so that they can say "Snowflake was absent during 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc periods today. Please send a parent's note or doctor's excuse blahblahblah". IF something like this happened, I wouldn't know until the kid didn't get off the bus, or didn't text me to let me know he stayed after school or UNTIL I got this message on my phone at around 6:00 PM - at which time, he would've been missing for about 12 hours. The mother does need a backup plan - maybe call a grandparent or something - since she isn't coherent enough to answer a phone after she falls asleep. THIS is one of the reasons I sleep with my cell phone under my pillow!

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I don't even know what the policy is at my kids' school.

    I wanted to mention, though, that when I walk my own kids to school, I usually notice my daughter's classmate walking to school alone. She is 9 and a tiny kid. Her dad is a police officer in our county, but because the parents are divorced, he lives somewhere else. To me, it just doesn't seem like a good idea. The walking distance for her is probably a little over half a mile.

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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    Children walking alone really is a pet peeve of mine. I was 16/17 years old when some dirty fucking pervert tried to pick me up by insisting that my bicycle had a flat. Even with me looking at the tire and seeing that it wasn't flat, he kept telling me he would put my bike in the back of his van and just give me a ride to town. Thank goodness, there was a lot of traffic that day or that pervert would've snatched me, I know it! fuckers! Little girls shouldn't be walking all alone. They should have a group (with a phone in there somewhere) or have one frigging parent with them!

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    Elite Member JadeStar70's Avatar
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    Here in Iowa, if your child isn't in class when they take attendance 1st period, you will get a call before 9:00 a.m., asking where is your child? Unless you have already called in to let the office know they are home sick or at a doctor's appointment, ect. I figured all schools did this across the country.

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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    ^ What do they do if no one answers the phone or they can't reach a contact?
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    Children walking alone really is a pet peeve of mine. I was 16/17 years old when some dirty fucking pervert tried to pick me up by insisting that my bicycle had a flat. Even with me looking at the tire and seeing that it wasn't flat, he kept telling me he would put my bike in the back of his van and just give me a ride to town. Thank goodness, there was a lot of traffic that day or that pervert would've snatched me, I know it! fuckers! Little girls shouldn't be walking all alone. They should have a group (with a phone in there somewhere) or have one frigging parent with them!
    I can't get over the irony that it's a cop's kid. I'm assuming he knows that she is walking to school, but it's possible he doesn't. There's a 10 year old who also walks to school alone. And she is really quiet and I don't think she's paying that much attention to what's going on around her. I think the one thing they both have going for them is that other people are walking the same route at the same time. Not a lot, though.

    Jadestar said - Here in Iowa, if your child isn't in class when they take attendance 1st period, you will get a call before 9:00 a.m., asking where is your child? Unless you have already called in to let the office know they are home sick or at a doctor's appointment, ect. I figured all schools did this across the country.
    Just wanted to add that there is this tiny kid (6 years old - kindergartener) who gets on and off the bus at the same stop as our kids (when they aren't walking). Her mom has been hit or miss in being there when the bus drops her off, according to my kids. Leaving her to walk all alone a block or more home. The bus driver told the school to tell the mom that the next time she doesn't show up, he will drive her straight to the police station. Now, the mom is there every time.

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    Good for that bus driver.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    For elementary kids you will get a call before 9 or 10 if you haven't called the attendance line yet. In middle and high school you get an automated message in the evening. There is no way I could ever sleep that soundly when my kids aren't home, but I imagine some people do.

    I let my youngest start walking alone when he was in 5th grade, but he's the popular type, so he's always in a pack anyway. I never had to impress on him he shouldn't walk alone.
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    It disappoints me that anyone is laying any blame on the school. If the school called the police or emergency contacts every time a child was absent and the parent wasn't answering the phone, the school's receptionist wouldn't have time to do anything else all day.

    When the parent is letting a child walk to school unsupervised and alone, it's the parent's responsibility (not the school's) to make sure that the child gets there safely. How the child gets to school is not the school's concern, unless they're riding on a school-provided bus. If a child doesn't show up and the parent doesn't answer the phone when the school calls, that's not considered an emergency on the school's end. It happens all the time. I know this because I worked in a school and was friends with the girls who worked in the grade level offices. The emergency contacts at the school where I worked were used only in school-related emergencies, such as if a child was not picked up from school and the parents couldn't be reached, or if a child was sick or hurt at school and the parents were not available. A child being absent wasn't something that the school would have been authorized to use emergency contacts for.

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Many, many children walk to school unsupervised everyday, and they don't get kidnapped. Personally, I think a 1.5 mile walk is too far for a small child to go alone, but the only person to blame here is the sick fuck who took her. (Because we all know that's what happened and we all know what's become of her).

    Poor child.

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    who watches her at night while the mother is working?
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    Elite Member dolem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    I won't lie - when I read that the mother works the night shift & didn't wake up when they called, I rolled my eyes. As for the school doing something else - I don't agree with that. Hell, luckily they called that morning. At my son's school, they send out automated messages AFTER school is out so that they can say "Snowflake was absent during 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc periods today. Please send a parent's note or doctor's excuse blahblahblah". IF something like this happened, I wouldn't know until the kid didn't get off the bus, or didn't text me to let me know he stayed after school or UNTIL I got this message on my phone at around 6:00 PM - at which time, he would've been missing for about 12 hours. The mother does need a backup plan - maybe call a grandparent or something - since she isn't coherent enough to answer a phone after she falls asleep. THIS is one of the reasons I sleep with my cell phone under my pillow!
    I can see why you would say that. I'm sure a lot of people are thinking that same thing. I just wanted to add that my sister works night shift and when she comes home after her 12 hours she is more than exhausted. She says that while she is driving home she feels drunk because she is so tired. Her daughter once fell and cut her head open (required 3-4 staples) when she was being babysad and my sister was sleeping. They called my sister probably 20 times and she never woke up.

    So, I can see why the mom didn't answer. Though, she probably should have had some other system in place. Maybe she only does the night shift 2 nights a week and is awake the other days to answer calls. It's tough to say and really hard to judge her on it.

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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    Not judging on the mom or school, but to me this incident sounds just like the two Iowa girls that went missing this summer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MohandasKGanja View Post
    I don't even know what the policy is at my kids' school.

    I wanted to mention, though, that when I walk my own kids to school, I usually notice my daughter's classmate walking to school alone. She is 9 and a tiny kid. Her dad is a police officer in our county, but because the parents are divorced, he lives somewhere else. To me, it just doesn't seem like a good idea. The walking distance for her is probably a little over half a mile.
    I saw a little guy walking all alone today. He looked to be about 7 and he was walking on the sidewalk of a pretty major parkway. He had this big back and he was so small. I just couldn't help but think that can't be safe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel1973 View Post
    Children walking alone really is a pet peeve of mine. I was 16/17 years old when some dirty fucking pervert tried to pick me up by insisting that my bicycle had a flat. Even with me looking at the tire and seeing that it wasn't flat, he kept telling me he would put my bike in the back of his van and just give me a ride to town. Thank goodness, there was a lot of traffic that day or that pervert would've snatched me, I know it! fuckers! Little girls shouldn't be walking all alone. They should have a group (with a phone in there somewhere) or have one frigging parent with them!
    Similar thing happened to me when I was about 14. A guy pulled up next to me when I was walking home from junior high. I looked over at him because he was talking to me. He exposed himself and was masturbating. Scary as hell.

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