Maria Ridulph

Danielle Guerra / Daily Chronicle/shawmedia.com

Jack McCullough filed a lawsuit against state and local authorities just days after he was granted a certificate of innocence.  

McCullough’s lawsuit accuses Sycamore, Illinois, and Seattle police of conspiring with DeKalb County prosecutors to frame him. He was previously convicted in 2012 for the 1957 murder of Sycamore resident Maria Ridulph.  However, the decision was overturned last year when phone records showed McCullough was in Rockford at the time of the incident.

Matthew Apgar / Daily Chronicle

A 77-year-old Seattle man has been granted a Certificate of Innocence in the 1957 kidnapping and murder of a Sycamore girl. 

Jack McCullough was not in court in DeKalb County today when Judge William Brady announced his decision. This clears the way for McCullough to receive up to $85,000 from the state for wrongful conviction. He served four years in prison before his conviction was vacated last year.

7-year-old Maria Ridulph was kidnapped near her home in Sycamore in 1957. Her body was found several months later. The case is still open.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A DeKalb County judge has set dates for hearings in two cases involving Jack McCullough, the Seattle resident who was convicted of the 1957 kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. That conviction was vacated after a review last year showed he could not have committed the crime. 

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.

Illinois State Police say they have a new suspect in the 1957 murder of Sycamore schoolgirl Maria Ridulph.  

The case was reopened after police were asked to investigate a suspect named in an anonymous letter.  The letter was received March 24, the same day DeKalb State’s Attorney Richard Schmack disavowed the prosecution of Jack McCullough, who was convicted of the murder in September 2012.

McCullough's conviction  was vacated after new evidence showed he was in Rockford at the time of Ridulph's disappearance, and he is now seeking a certificate of innocence.  

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