Relative of Jessica Ridgeway hopes to attend trial

John Colson
Post Independent Staff
Staff Photo |

GLENWOOD SPRINGS — A local photographer whose great-niece was 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, who was brutally murdered, raped and dismembered in 2012, is trying to raise money so she can attend the trial of the girl’s accused murderer in Golden later this fall.

To do that, she is selling framed landscape photos she has shot around the West, at a show at the Bluebird Cafe on Saturday afternoon.

Ridgeway disappeared on Oct. 5, 2012, after leaving home that morning to walk to school, according to news accounts of the crime.

Police found her body about a week later, in the middle of a field roughly six miles from her home.

Austin Reed Sigg, 17, was charged on Oct. 30, 2012 with multiple counts of murder, kidnapping and sexual assault, and is being tried as an adult.

But because he was a minor when the murder occurred, if convicted he will not face the death penalty under Colorado law, according to news accounts of the case.

Gay Moore, who has lived in the Glenwood Springs area for 15 years, said on Thursday that she will be showing and selling her landscape photography at the Bluebird Cafe on Saturday, from 1-3 p.m.

She said she has travelled around Colorado, Utah and other western locales in recent years, recording landscapes with her camera and occasionally selling the photographs that she produces.

This will be her third show, she said, adding that the Bluebird is the venue because the cafe’s owner, Andy Lotsberg, offered it.

Moore has been a regular customer at the Bluebird since Lotsberg bought it, the cafe owner said, and he wanted to help in some way.

So, said Lotsberg on Thursday, rather than taking a percentage of the receipts from the art sales “I’m donating all proceeds from the sales to her cause, from the sales for the month.”

Moore’s photography has been hanging in the cafe for several days already, and will be up for the month of August, Lotsberg said.

“That was such a wonderful thing for him to do,” Moore told the Post Independent.

Speaking about her great-niece by telephone, Moore said on Thursday that Jessica used to come up to the mountains with her mom, grandma and other relatives quite often.

“She knew Glenwood well, and loved coming up here,” Moore recalled softly.

In fact, she said, this would have been the first year that Jessica would have been old enough to come up on her own to visit Moore.

“I was really looking forward to her being able to do that, so it’s kind of sad for me,” she commented.

The reason she needs to raise money, she said, is to pay not only for her lodging and other expenses while she is on the Front Range for what is expected to be weeks of trial and then sentencing, but also to cover her “basic expenses” at home in Glenwood Springs.

Already, she said, she has spent considerable time traveling to Golden and back to attend some of the many hearings that have been held in the case.

Her goal now, she said, is to support her family through the grieving process and the difficulties of watching the drama play out in open court.

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