WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- State and local law enforcement officials told an afternoon media briefing that the body found in Arvada has been positively identified as Jessica Ridgeway, the 10-year-old girl missing from Westminster.
On Thursday Westminster police spokesman Trevor Materasso said the body found Wednesday was not intact, and that was making it difficult to identify it. Officials had been waiting on the results of DNA tests.
Westminster Police Chief Lee Birk said he had "a great deal of sorrow" in his heart.
"There is a predator at large in our community," he said, adding that investigators are putting all efforts into finding the killer.
Jim Yacone with the FBI said, "The commitment with investigators will not waver. Our commitment to seek justice will only grow."
"This is not the news we wanted to hear," Jefferson County District Attorney Scott Storey said. He said that the investigation is the priority, and officials would not jeopardize that.
Birk, Yacone and Storey did not take questions.
Materasso confirmed the Colorado Bureau of Investigation used DNA to identify the body.
FBI spokesman Dave Joly said, "We will not rest until this person is caught." He added that officials need the community to be "engaged and aware."
Gov. John Hickenlooper released a statement after the news conference: "This is an unthinkable end to an unthinkable crime in our community.
"It is with a profound sense of sorrow that we learned of Jessica Ridgeway's death. On behalf of all of Colorado, we offer our deepest sympathies to her family and friends. The Colorado Department of Public Safety and other federal, state and local agencies involved in the case will continue to provide all of the support they can as the investigation continues."
Jessica was last seen at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 5 as she left her home on Moore Street in Westminster. She was to meet with classmates at nearby Chelsea Park to walk to Witt Elementary, but she never arrived at school that morning. Her mother, Sarah Ridgeway, a night-shift worker, slept during the day and awoke to find a message that her daughter never made it to school and reported her missing around 4:30 p.m. Oct. 5.
On Oct. 7 Jessica's backpack was found in Superior. Police have said it is being analyzed for DNA evidence.
On Wednesday afternoon searchers found a body near Pattridge Park Open Space in Arvada.
Investigators have ruled out Jessica's parents as possible suspects in the 10-year-old's disappearance, focusing on an unknown suspect who is believed to have abducted her.