DENVER (KMGH) - The former head of the FBI in Colorado says several aspects of the Jessica Ridgeway case suggest the killer is still in the Denver area and could possibly act again.
"If the parents can possibly add a little different level of protection right now until this situation is resolved, I think that would be warranted," Bob Pence, the former FBI special agent in charge for Colorado, told Scripps station KMGH on Monday.
"Anyone that's capable of an act like this, it may be just the beginning," Pence said. "This person is initiating a sick mind and it's going to involve additional crimes, additional acts that the public needs to be concerned about."
Pence said parents should be protective -- not panicked.
Traditionally, people who commit these types of crimes are cowards and wouldn't approach a child who's accompanied by an adult or someone else, he said.
He noted that serial killers and abductors normally move quickly through an area, which contradicts the abduction of Jessica, who disappeared while walking to school on Oct. 5. Her backpack was found two days later and her body was found in an Arvada open space area five days after her abduction.
Jessica's father, great-grandmother and other family members live in Independence, Mo. A vigil was held for her at a park in Independence the night her body was found.
The backpack was found in Superior, six miles from her Westminster home and about 6.5 miles from where her body was found.
Pence said leaving the backpack for authorities to find was intentional.
"It's a situation that doesn't always occur in a kidnapping, leaving a clue like that. It was put there for a purpose," he said.
Pence said the killer likely left the backpack either to taunt police or as a diversion.
On Monday, investigators continued to canvass Jessica's neighborhood and follow-up on the more than 4,000 tips.
Pence said law enforcement is relying on the community to help find Jessica's killer.
"We have a very dangerous person on our hands," Pence said. "A person, if they had full mental capacity, probably would not do this. So I think normally that someone capable of doing this has got mental problems and they should be obvious to someone," Pence said.
"Somewhere, this person has probably given off a suggestion or clue that things are not all right," Pence said.