SYCAMORE – Attorneys for the man charged with kidnapping and killing a Sycamore girl more than 50 years ago must disclose information on the man’s alibi at a Tuesday hearing.
Jack D. McCullough, 72, of Seattle, is charged in the death of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph, who was abducted from her Sycamore neighborhood Dec. 3, 1957. Her remains were found five months later in rural Jo Daviess County.
McCullough was indicted Aug. 19, 2011, by a grand jury on charges of murder, kidnapping and abduction of an infant. He has said he has an alibi for the day she disappeared and has pleaded not guilty to the charges. The state has filed a motion seeking information on that alibi.
On Tuesday, interim Public Defender Tom McCulloch told Kane County Associate Judge James Hallock that specific information on the date, time and place of the kidnapping and slaying still was needed, and if he received that information, he would be better able to respond to the state’s request for McCullough’s alibi.
According to court documents, prosecutors identified the date of the kidnapping as Dec. 3, 1957; the location as Sycamore; the time of the kidnapping between the late afternoon hours and 9 p.m.; and Ridulph’s remains being found April 26, 1958, in Jo Daviess County.
During a hearing Friday at the DeKalb County Courthouse, McCulloch said the state’s response addressed only the details relating to the kidnapping, not the slaying, and he was hoping for specifics on the time, date and place of the murder charge.
Prosecutor Victor Escarcida with the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office said the state has provided all necessary information the defense needs to prepare for trial, and prosecutors do not have to offer a specific date on the murder charge because there is no statute of limitations.
McCulloch argued that the date of Ridulph’s death is critical to the question of McCullough’s alibi.
Hallock said prosecutors must respond with additional details, and McCullough’s attorneys must disclose information on his alibi at Tuesday’s hearing.
McCullough, formerly known as John Tessier, was arrested in July 2011 in Seattle. Police have said authorities received new information on the case several years ago that led them to focus on McCullough, who lived near Ridulph in 1957.
Ridulph’s remains were exhumed from a Sycamore cemetery more than one year ago as prosecutors searched for DNA evidence; her remains recently were returned to her family and reburied.
McCullough is being held in the DeKalb County Jail on $3 million bond.