Update, 5:58 a.m. November 19: Yesterday, we shared one reporter's updates from the courtroom where Austin Sigg will be sentenced for the horrific October 2012 murder of Jessica Ridgeway, a ten-year-old Westminster girl, a crime committed when he was seventeen; see our previous coverage below.
The information that emerged from the hearing was shocking in the extreme, yet Jessica's mother, Sarah, sounded a note of resilience and strength. See photos, videos and details below.
During her address, Sarah kept the focus on Jessica, who Sigg kidnapped as she headed to school.As reported by 7News, Sarah said, "Once we walk out of this courtroom, we'll not remember his name. We'll only remember Jessica and the legacy she created and the lasting project in which she inspired" -- a reference to a park named for Jessica. As noted by 9News, many of the disturbing details about Sigg were shared by Anna Salter, a psychologist who reviewed police records about the case. She noted that he had not been abused as a child and seemed to have been treated well by his parents despite them going through a divorce -- yet somehow, he emerged to display tendencies of sadism and narcissism. Possible factors floated by Sigg's defense? One of his attorneys said that Sigg's mother had inhaled paint fumes and fallen down stairs when she was pregnant with him. In addition, Sigg is said to have been born with a head deformity due to the use of a vacuum extractor when he was born, and he had such serious intestinal issues that, according to 7News, he underwent surgery three times -- at age two months, three years and six years.
Whatever the case, Sigg's treatment of Ridgeway's body was callous in the extreme, Salter allowed. After strangled the girl, he performed a kind of autopsy (a field in which he was reportedly interested), removing and identifying each of her organs. He also left a wooden cross that was identified as an important clue in the search for the killer inside her body.The hearing will continue today, with a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole expected.