• Vigil for Jessica

  • Roger Wright had hopes that 2012 would finally be the year he got to meet Jessica Ridgeway.

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  • Roger Wright had hopes that 2012 would finally be the year he got to meet Jessica Ridgeway.
    While Wright of Warrensburg, Mo., and 10-year-old Jessica’s paternal grandmother, Angie Moss, have dated for six years and Wright says he considers Jessica one of his own grandchildren, the two have never actually met.
    Wright had plans to travel to Colorado to meet the fifth-grader, but they are on hold for now. Jessica, whose father, Jeremiah Bryant, and great-grandmother Donna Moss live in Independence, went missing from Westminster, Colo., on Friday while walking to a park en route to school.
    The case has attracted national attention, and on Wednesday evening, Jessica’s network of extended family and friends – many of whom have never met the little girl – held a candlelight vigil at Independence’s McCoy Park.
    “In my heart, she’s still my granddaughter and always has been, from day one,” Wright said.
    Bill Shinn of Clinton, Mo., also has never met Jessica, but he is a close family friend. Shinn said the story hit close to home since he, too, has grandchildren who walk to school.
    “On top of that, when friends are in trouble, you’re supposed to be there for them, right?” he said. “We just want her home. I just really, really hope and pray that she comes home. I was 10 once – I remember what it was like. To be taken away like that, it’s got to be hard.”
    Even children Jessica’s age are feeling the effects of the missing child. Sisters Brindisi Mayer, 8, and Lorelei Mayer, 10, attended the vigil with their mother after hearing about Jessica’s case on the news Tuesday. Lorelei wrote out a prayer for Jessica on loose-leaf notebook paper, saying that she is concerned about the girl her age who lives two states away.
    “I really want to go everywhere to find this girl,” Lorelei said. “It makes me a little bit upset that someone would actually take an innocent little girl.”
    Says the note, from one girl to another, “I am praying for your family and daughter. God is with her always and angels are guarding her.”

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