Kristina Vlassenko
Kristina Vlassenko ( | )

ARVADA — Police have confirmed that the body found this morning at a construction site in Arvada is that of a missing girl.

Foul play is not suspected, police said in a news release.

Arvada police said 10-year-old Kristina Vlassenko was last seen around 3:30 p.m. yesterday in the area of West 58th Avenue and Miller Street.

Her body was found about 7 a.m. by a construction worker at a site near the Harold D. Lutz Sports Complex.

The construction work is on the east side of Oak Street inside the sports complex, to the south of youth baseball fields.

Investigators placed crime scene tape around a deep hole partially filled with water.

A construction company working at the site told police that the area is being excavated for a foundation for a new recreation building. The hole authorities are investigating is surrounded by high mounds of dirt.

About 10:45 a.m. several Arvada firefighters — at least three in rubber suits — entered the muddy water.

A gurney was nearby at the edge of the water.

Some firefighters and police officers held up a blue tarp to shield the scene.

Others put the floating gurney in the water.

When the gurney came out of the water it was taken to a waiting van.

The construction area is surrounded by an 8-foot-high chainlink fence with no trespassing signs on it.


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Investigators were walking around the fence, checking to see whether there was an entry point.

Police said Vlassenko, who is autistic, had a LifeTrak system capable of sending out a signal indicating her location. They speculate they were not able to receive the low frequency radio signal because the device was underwater.

Investigators said they are working on creating a timeline of Vlassenko's path from her home to the construction site where she was located.

On Tuesday morning a pair of school bus drivers and a driver's assistant with Jeffco Public Schools were among people who looked at the accident site from a nearby hill.

The three said they drove the girl to and from school this past year. They came to the site after seeing news reports about the missing girl; they had hoped to help find her.

"We just thought the world of her," said Carl Trump, one of the bus drivers.

Vlassenko was typically met at the bus stop by her mother, who showered her with affection.

"The mom adored her," said Liz Garcia, the bus driver's aide. "She always hugged and kissed her when she got off of the bus."

The school district employees said the young girl's hygiene and clothes always sparkled.

"She had the shiniest hair," Garcia recalled.

Amy Winterstein, also a school bus driver, described Vlassenko as a "very happy little girl."

The three said she loved music and her head would bob happily to the rhythm of tunes.

Police ask that anyone who say Vlassenko on Monday afternoon call them 720 898-6900.

Kieran Nicholson: 303-954-1822 or knicholson@denverpost.com.