Girl's Body Exhumed 54 Years After Murder

Investigators hope new DNA techniques will help nail prime suspect

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 28, 2011 3:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – A little girl's body has been exhumed 54 years after her murder, by cops who now think they can nail the killer using new forensics techniques. Prime suspect Jack McCullough, a former neighbor of the 7-year-old girl, has already been extradited from Washington to Illinois to face charges. "We're confident we have the right person," said a police spokesman. The case got a boost last year when McCullough's ex-girlfriend found a train ticket hidden behind a photo, notes ABC News. McCullough, now 71, was seen talking to Maria Ridulph before she vanished in 1957. Her bones were found five months later 120 miles from her home.

An angry McCullough has argued the ticket proves nothing. Maria's brother, who shared a room with his sister, said he was "so thankful to all the agencies involved in this as to how they have so respectfully treated our family." But Maria's sister is angry the case is again part of her life. "It's brought it back again and crammed it into our faces," she said. "I had put it to rest a long time ago."

The body of Maria Ridulph has been exhumed at Elmwood Cemetery in Illinois to seek more clues in a case against her suspected murderer.
The body of Maria Ridulph has been exhumed at Elmwood Cemetery in Illinois to seek more clues in a case against her suspected murderer.   (AP Photo/Barbara Rodriguez)
Jack Daniel McCullough has been extradited from Washington to face charged in Illinois in the death of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph.
Jack Daniel McCullough has been extradited from Washington to face charged in Illinois in the death of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph.   (AP Photo/Sycamore Police Department)
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