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Man accused of killing Sycamore girl 50+ years ago extradited

By Susan Stephens

Sycamore, IL – A Seattle man accused of murdering a Sycamore girl in 1957 will be arraigned this morning in DeKalb County court. 71-year-old Jack McCullough was extradited to Illinois yesterday, the same day Maria Ridulph's body was exhumed.

Jack McCullough returned to Sycamore Wednesday, more than half a century after he joined the military and moved away -- more than half a century after seven-year-old Maria Ridulph was kidnapped and murdered. He's being held on three million dollars bond in the DeKalb County jail, just a few blocks away from where the girl was kidnapped, and not far from the cemetery where her body was exhumed by investigators earlier in the day.

Charles Ridulph says the reopening of his little sister's murder case has been very difficult on the family, but he's thankful for the way the case is being handled. Sycamore police chief Don Thomas says he's confident they have the right suspect, and that cracking this case would be great for the city and the Ridulph family.

DeKalb State's attorney Clay Campbell says he hopes today's science will be able to uncover more evidence from the remains than investigators could in 1958. He's also counting on more cooperation from the community. He encourages everyone who thinks they might have information investigators can use to call the Illinois State Police's hotline at 1-800-843-5763.

Ridulph's cause of death was listed as "foul play" after her body was discovered in a wooded area in Jo Daviess County. The unsolved case was reopened after new information emerged three years ago, leading to McCullough's arrest last month.