SUPERIOR -- Community Park was illuminated Tuesday night by the beams of hundreds of flashlights, as people showed support for the ongoing search for Jessica Ridgeway, the 10-year-old Westminster girl who has been missing since Friday morning.
About 250 people attended the vigil, organized in part by Pastor Chris Cote of Louisville's Rock Creek Church. A corresponding event was held in Westminster.
"It's two communities with one cause, to bring Jessica home safe," Cote said. "People in both of these communities would gladly go out in the dark and search for her."
Cote said the flashlight vigil was intended to symbolize that the light is on at home for Jessica and that people will not stop searching for her until she is found.
Jessica has been missing since 8:30 a.m. Friday, when her mother said she watched her start off on her walk to Witt Elementary School.
A search for Jessica began Friday night, and hundreds of people volunteered over the weekend to help look for her in Westminster. A backpack belonging to Jessica was found on a sidewalk near the intersection of Andrew Drive and Alpha Court in Superior's Rock Creek neighborhood, prompting the search to broaden into Boulder County on Sunday.
Diane Rafferty, of Louisville, said that as a mother of two teenage sons, she felt she had to be at the vigil Tuesday night to show her support.
"I let my kids walk to school all the time, and I just can't believe this could happen so close to us," she said. "We want to come out in support and say some prayers that she'll come back safe."
Gary Preston, an executive pastor at Rock Creek Church, led prayers at the vigil for Jessica's safety, while Pastor Mike Durrill of Louisville's Valley Community Church focused his comments and prayers on Jessica's family and friends.
Rabbi Jamie Korngold, of Boulder-based Adventure Rabbi, spoke about the strength of community and the collective ability of people to help one another in tough situations. She led the crowd in the singing of a Hebrew song that, translated, means, "How good it is and how lovely when people live together in peace."
The Rev. Tim Gaines of Louisville's St. Louis Catholic Church prayed for the public safety officials who continue to search for Jessica.
Boulder County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Chamberlin thanked those assembled for the support and help officials have received in searching for Jessica. He said the Sheriff's Office substation in Superior received many calls of support and even a few batches of donated cookies Sunday.
Chamberlin emphasized that people should continue to call in tips that they feel might help in the search. The tip line is 303-658-4336.
"If something bothers you in your gut, if you think it is odd, call it in," he said.
Many attendees wore green and purple ribbons Tuesday night. The green represents missing children awareness, and purple is Jessica's favorite color.
During the prayers for Jessica's safety, parents knelt down to hold their children close.
"I though it was a good event," said Grant Hansen, a member of the Rock Creek Church who attended the vigil with his three children. "Ultimately, we want to see Jessica home safe, and this is a small thing we can do together to express our support for Jessica and her family."