McCullough must disclose alibi in girl’s kidnapping and death

Aug 20, 2012

Attorneys for Jack McCullough, charged in the kidnapping and death of Maria Ridulph in Sycamore more than a half century ago, must disclose his alibi for the time of the incident at a hearing Tuesday, Kane County Associate Judge James Hallock has ruled.

Court records show that the seven-year-old girl disappeared from her neighborhood sometime between late afternoon hours and 9 p.m. on Dec. 3, 1957, from Sycamore. Her remains were found nearly five months later on April 26, 1958, in Jo Daviess County.

McCullough, 72, of Seattle, was indicted Aug. 19, 2011, by a grand jury on charges of murder, kidnapping and abduction of an infant. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, stating that he has an alibi for the day she disappeared. Prosecutors filed a motion seeking details of the alibi.

Interim Public Defender Tom McCulloch told the court last week that he needed more information on the date, time and place of the events to respond to the state’s request. McCulloch told a hearing Friday at the DeKalb County Courthouse that the state’s details concerned only the kidnapping, not the slaying; and he wanted specifics on the occurrence of the murder.

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 alibi for McCullough, known at that time by the name John Tessier.

Judge Hallock said prosecutors must provide additional details, and McCullough’s attorneys must disclose reveal his alibi at the hearing at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Police have said new information on the case received several years ago led them to focus on McCullough, who lived near Ridulph in 1957. McCullough was arrested in July 2011 in Seattle.