Five days after she vanished, Jessica Ridgeway's parents have broken their silence to tell reporters they played no part in their 10-year-old daughter's disappearance.
"I know I didn't do anything. Everybody that's here knows I didn't do anything," Jessica's mother Sarah Ridgeway said, surrounded by family members at a news conference in Westminster in Colorado.
"Nobody in this room did anything to harm her or a tiny hair on her little head," she added, close to tears.
Jessica's father, Jeremiah Bryant, who lives in Missouri was also there, despite being locked in a custody battle with the girl's mother.
He is not considered to be a person of interest in the case. He also backed the mother's plea of innocence.
"When I sat down with the FBI, they asked if I thought [Sarah Ridgeway] did it. I told them there's no way that I would ever believe that," Mr Bryant said. "I don't see how any parent could do something like that to their child."
Jessica usually met a friend at a nearby park before heading to school, but she never made it to the park or to Witt Elementary on Friday.
But an Amber Alert was only issued that evening for the youngster, nearly eight hours after she disappeared.
Her mother works night shifts and apparently slept through early calls from school staff to tell her she had not arrived. Investigators were only alerted at 4.30pm.
"She never misses school. She loves school," Ms Ridgeway said. "I knew when they called and said she hadn't come to school, I knew something was wrong."
When last seen on Friday morning, Jessica was wearing pink and purple glasses, blue jeans and a black puffy jacket.
The only trace of the missing girl since has been her backpack and water bottle which were found on Sunday in Superior, six miles away.
Police have been carrying out DNA tests on the backpack as they hunt for new leads.
The authorities are even looking into whether Jessica's disapearance could be linked to the abduction of a girl 500 miles away in Cody, Wyoming.
A man lured an 11-year-old girl into a sport utility vehicle on Monday saying he needed help finding his puppy.
She was released four hours later and found by hunters.
Police are looking for a white man aged between 55 and 60, with short strawberry blond or white hair and a neatly trimmed moustache.