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This booking photo provided by the Westminster, Colo., Police Department shows Austin Reed Sigg, 17, who has been arrested in the abduction and killing of a 10-year-old girl and the attempted kidnapping of a runner. Police say they arrested Sigg at his Westminster home Tuesday night, about five miles from the home of Jessica Ridgeway, who disappeared Oct. 5. Her body was found five days later in a field at a park. The break comes two days after police said Jessica's abduction was linked to the attempted abduction in May of a 22-year-old runner at another park. (AP Photo/Westminster Police Department)
Teen suspect in kidnapping, murder of Jessica Ridgeway, formally charged

First Published Oct 30 2012 10:43 am • Last Updated Oct 30 2012 01:27 pm

The 17-year-old teenager who allegedly confessed to killing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway was formally chargedas an adult in Colorado’s Jefferson County on Tuesday morning.

Austin Sigg is being held without bail in the murder and kidnapping of Jessica Ridgeway and in an attack on a female jogger at Ketner Lake in May.

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He was charged with 17 counts total. In the Jessica case, the 11 charges include first-degree murder after deliberation, three counts of felony murder, second-degree kidnapping, sex assualt on a child and robbery.

In the case of the jogger, the six counts include attempted first-degree murder, attempted kidnapping and attempted sexual assault.

District Attorney Scott Storey said last week that charging Sigg as an adult is "the right thing to do." He added, however, that seeking the death penalty is not a consideration because of U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Likewise, a sentence of life without parole is not an option for those under the age of 18.

Sigg, a mortuary-science student, faces up to 40 years in prison. Storey has said the evidence against the teen, who confessed and has been tied to the case through DNA, is overwhelming.

Jessica was kidnapped on her way to school on Oct. 5 and part of her body was found five days later in a field.

Authorities have also said that Sigg’s first known attack was against a woman who was jogging around Ketner Lake, also near Sigg’s home, in May.

Documents in the case have been sealed.

The next court date has been set for Nov. 27


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