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Body Found During Search For Missing US Girl
Police in Colorado have found a body in a park just a few miles from where a schoolgirl disappeared last week.
Authorities believe 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, from the Westminster suburb of Denver, was kidnapped on Friday after leaving home to meet friends on her way to school.
Police have not confirmed the body, which was discovered at the Pattridge Park in Arvada, is that of Jessica or linked it to her disappearance.
At a short news conference on Thursday morning, officers would only say that investigators would continue their search.
Over the weekend Jessica's backpack and water bottle were discovered six miles from her home.
Police have been investigating a possible link between her disappearance and the abduction of an 11-year-old girl in Wyoming on Monday. She was lured into a man's vehicle and released later that day.
They are also probing whether Jessica's case is related to two child enticement cases.
In September a man tried to lure two boys, around the same age as Jessica, into a car but he has not been found.
Police said their inquiry is not focusing on Jessica's parents, who are said to be cooperating fully.
Her mother, Sarah Ridgeway, who is a night-shift worker, was asleep when her school called to report her absence.
She got the message when she woke up at 4pm, eight hours after Jessica left the house.
The youngster's father lives in Missouri.
Police say the delay in reporting Jessica missing may have been critical. Many child abduction cases are resolved within hours of the alarm being raised.
On Wednesday, about 25 police officers searched Jessica's neighbourhood, scouring bushes and front yards. Divers have also searched ponds.