WESTMINSTER, Colo. (Reuters) - A dismembered body found in a Colorado park has been identified as that of a 10-year-old girl who went missing on her way to school a week ago, police said on Friday.
The remains confirmed to be those of Jessica Ridgeway were discovered on Wednesday about 10 miles from her home in the Denver suburb of Westminster, Colorado.
"Our focus has changed from a search for Jessica to a mission for justice for Jessica," Westminster police chief Lee Birk said at an afternoon press conference.
Jessica Ridgeway vanished last Friday after leaving for school. Police have said the girl's parents were not suspects in their daughter's disappearance, and they were shifting the probe toward an abduction.
Her father, Jeremiah Bryant, lives in Missouri and came to Colorado when he learned his daughter was missing, police said.
The case made national headlines in the days following the girl's disappearance as hundreds of police officers, several bloodhounds and scores of volunteers scoured the Jessica's neighborhood looking for any clue to her whereabouts.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Todd Eastham)
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