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Sycamore Girl In Historic Cold Case Disappeared 59 Years Ago This Weekend

Katie Finlon

A little girl from Sycamore went missing 59 years ago Satuerday. The disappearance is still remembered by many in the community.

Seven-year-old Maria Ridulph was playing outside with a friend before she disappeared on Dec. 3, 1957. Then, a man named “Johnny” appeared and started talking to them and gave them piggy-back rides.

When her friend came back after she left to grab mittens, Ridulph was gone. Police found her body in northwest Illinois months later.

Jack McCullough was originally charged with the murder. He was released from prison earlier this year after DeKalb State’s Attorney Richard Schmack reviewed all evidence and determined McCullough was not in Sycamore at the time of Maria's disappearance.

A hearing regarding McCullough’s request for a certificate of innocence is scheduled for Monday afternoon in Sycamore. CNN recently reported that Illinois State Police are pursuing a new suspect as well.

Ridulph’s family have said they’re disappointed they weren’t granted a special prosecutor for the case after McCullough’s release. Charles Ridulph, Maria’s brother, recently wrote a book about how his sister’s disappearance and murder affected him. 

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