An Independence, MO, man is taking it upon himself to educate kids and their parents on basic self-defense. His outreach comes days after police arrested 17-year-old Austin Sigg who is accused of killing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway.
The girl was last seen leaving her Westminster, CO, home on Oct. 5. Days later police found her remains in an open space not far from her home. Last week, Sigg was charged with murder.
Jessica's father and extended family call Independence, MO, home, which is where it's one man's quest to honor Jessica's memory.
Master Karate Instructor Tom Burt is helping young ladies one move at a time.
"We're doing a community service with free self-defense lessons," he said.
By following three steps, the young ladies taking Burt's class are well on their way to learning how to defend themselves and all of the basic training is free.
"Maybe we can stop some of this horrific crime. We can teach people to protect themselves," Donna Moss, Jessica's great-grandmother, said.
Moss said she believes the self-defense classes won't only help the kids but also honor Jessica and keep her memory alive.
Burt said the idea to offer the free basic classes came about after a chance encounter while at a local department store.
"The aunt of Jessica Ridgeway, the little girl who was abducted in Colorado, stopped by our booth and asked us if we were open to doing anything like that," he said.
Now, it's free basic self-defense training that he hopes will save lives.
"I was just moved by the story and decided that I can definitely give back to the community," Burt said.
"I think that the reason that Jessica was taken is because she wasn't aware that there was that much danger there," Moss said.
Burt is offering free classes every first Saturday of the month for kids and every last Saturday of the month for adults.
A Colorado girl went missing on Oct. 5. Her father, Jeremy Bryant, lives in Independence. He has traveled to Colorado to assist in the search for her. Independence family hopes for answers after AmberMore>>
Thursday, April 24 2014 2:50 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:50:03 GMT
A Marion County waste-to-power plant was reportedly converting medical waste, including human tissue and possibly aborted fetuses, into power.That report prompted Marion County commissioners to scheduleMore >
A Marion County waste-to-power plant was reportedly converting medical waste, including human tissue and possibly aborted fetuses, into power.More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:55:55 GMT
Two Roseburg parents who took their 2-year-old to the emergency room because she was acting abnormally have been arrested after tests showed methamphetamine in her system. Sheriff's Office spokesmanMore >
Two Roseburg parents who took their 2-year-old to the emergency room because she was acting abnormally have been arrested after tests showed methamphetamine in her system.More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:32:57 GMT
Two days after a Forest Grove couple found a scrapbook full of old photos in a laundry room wall, FOX 12 viewers helped track down the scrapbook's owner hundreds of miles away. Avamarie Cowles said sheMore >
Mystery solved: A scrapbook found in a laundry room wall at a Forest Grove home belongs to a 76-year-old woman who lives 260 miles away.More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:11 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:11:21 GMT
A man and his girlfriend are on the run after deputies said he crashed a stolen car and she helped him get away. Marion County deputies were called to the 4500 block of Harlan Drive Northeast in SalemMore >
A man and his girlfriend are on the run after deputies said he crashed a stolen car in a Salem neighborhood and she helped him get away.More >
Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:09:27 GMT
A former UFC fighter who ran a jiu-jitsu academy in Clackamas and served prison time for attempted sex abuse of an underage girl has been deported to Brazil by immigration officials. Hermes Franca De Barros,More >
A former UFC fighter who ran a jiu-jitsu academy in Clackamas and served prison time for attempted sex abuse of an underage girl has been deported to Brazil by immigration officialsMore >
Thursday, April 24 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-04-24 20:40:50 GMT
Methamphetamine is now the leading cause of illegal drug-related deaths in Oregon. Oregon State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson released statistics Thursday showing 222 people died in connection toMore >
The Oregon State Medical Examiner released statistics showing 222 people died in connection to the use of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine or a combination of those drugs in 2013.More >