Jessica Ridgeway's family and friends gathered together at a vigil held for her Saturday in McCoy Park. She was murdered on October 5th.
"Hopefully, that will begin some healing for our community," said Kimberly Bowman, the grandmother who planned the memorial. She had never met the family before. "I've lived here my entire life. This is the first time something like this has ever happened."
Jessica was found in October by authorities. Her father went to Colorado to be with family, he lives in Independence. She was murdered in a Denver suburb.
"We realize there is a predator in our community," said Lee Birk, chief of police in Westminster, Colo.
Communities in Independence gathered in support of her family. Balloons with letters on them floated into the sky as the hope of her parents, family and community members continue to be empowered by the hope that their daughter's killer would be caught and justice would be rendered.
"I don't see what kind of sick person, or monster could do this to a child," stated Jessica's great uncle Larry Moss. "I want to thank everyone that was here, that prayed or was looking for Jessica."
"It would mean a lot. I mean, there's not even words to express how we would feel, to know that the person or persons is caught and behind bars and justice is being served so they cannot do it to somebody else's kid," Katherine Tiedman, Jessica's cousin, expressed.
"We're doing the best we can. At least she's not being tortured, no more harm can come to her, that she can now rest in peace," Kathy Moss, Jessica's great-aunt, said.
The family has the support of community members and friends.