Murder Suspect Could be Extradited to Illinois Soon

Records pertaining to Jack Daniel McCullough lost in fire

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jack Daniel McCullough

    The suspect in the 1957 abduction and murder case of a 7-year-old girl from Sycamore could soon face extradition to Illinois this summer.

    DeKalb County prosecutors filed paperwork with Gov. Pat Quinn last week to bring former police officer and Air Force veteran Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, to Illinois to face murder, kidnapping and abduction charges.

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is currently reviewing the governor's warrant., according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

    McCullough was arrested last month in Seattle and faces a fugitive charge pending extradition to Illinois.

    Investigators reopened the murder case of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in 2008. Maria disappeared from her Sycamore neighborhood on Dec. 3, 1957 and was found dead in the woods after 50 days of hysteria and searches.

    McCullough, who was then known as John Tessier, lived close to Maria's house and stuck to an alibi that he had been in Chicago at the time of Maria's disappearance taking a physical and medical examination for the Air Force.

    McCullough said that military records would prove his presence in Chicago at the time of the crime, but Kevin Cowan, an archivist with a federal repository of military records in St. Louis says McCullough's Air Force file was destroyed in a 1973 fire at the records' storage site.

    None of McCullough's records survived the fire, said Cowan.

    DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell spoke at a news conference on Tuesday, albeit very cautiously. Campbell said that he would not jeopardize the work of police and investigators by answering certain questions specific to McCullough's alibi and other parts of the case.

    He did say, however, that he was confident that the evidence investigators have gathered would lead to McCullough's conviction.

    "I am not going to charge an individual if I don't think I can prove their guilt in a court of law," said Campbell.

    "Certainly in a case that's this old, there's going to challenges. I would be disingenuous to say prosecuting a murder that occurred in 1957 wasn't going to be a challenge, but I am confident that the level of expertise needed in this kind of case will be brought to bear on this defendant."

    McCullough is being held in King County Jail on $3 million bond. He is scheduled for a status hearing on July 20.