(WESTMINSTER, Colo.) — What began as a desperate search in Colorado for 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway has now turned into the hunt for a possible suspect with the release of a behavioral profile of the killer.
Police believe that the body found this week in Arvada, Colo., seven miles from where she disappeared, is Ridgeway’s.
The suspect is likely male and might have recently missed work or suddenly left town, according to the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. The suspect might have already changed his appearance and gotten rid of his car.
“It could be your boss, it could be your friend and, ultimately, it could be your family member,” FBI spokesman David Joly said.
The FBI is asking for the public’s help in locating the suspect, who might have been a “no show” and missed work immediately after the incident and offered a plausible excuse such as illness, death in the family or car trouble.
The individual might express an intense interest in the status of the investigation and pay close attention to the media. But some offenders might quickly turn off media accounts or try to redirect conversations concerning the victims or their families, according to the FBI. Joly said the public should be looking for “abnormal behavior.”
Investigators are now focusing on cellphone towers near Ridgeway’s Westminster, Colo., home, where her backpack was found and where the remains were discovered in Arvada, Colo. If a phone number registers at all three towers, it could lead to a suspect.
Hundreds of officers will continue to search fields, ravines and neighborhoods on Friday near the park in Arvada where the body was found Wednesday night.
Police haven’t officially tied the crime scene at the Pattridge Park open space to the missing girl. But investigators have reasons to believe it is the body of the girl who vanished last Friday on her walk to school, stressing that a positive identification will take time, according to three sources.
The condition of the body is delaying identification because it was “not intact,” police said Thursday.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio