http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1972dfil.html Maria Ridolph Missing since December 3, 1957 from Sycamore, DeKalb County, Illinois Classification: Non-Family Abduction Vital Statistics Date Of Birth: about 1950 Age at Time of Disappearance: 7 years old Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: White female. Dark, curly hair. Clothing: She was wearing a tan-jacket, black corduroy slacks, a black and white checked shirt, black and white shoes' which fastened with zippers and brown socks. Circumstances of Disappearance Maria Ridolph was last seen playing with Cathie Sigman, age 8, near the Sigmart home in the west side of town about 7 P.M. in Sycamore, Illinois on December 3, 1957. She was believed abducted by a man who had offered her and a girl companion a ride in a car. Sigman told authorities a man who called himself "Johnny" stopped to talk to the girls and offered them a ride in a car or a bus. Another story was that the man said "I'm Johnny and I'm married and I'm 24 years old." He asked them if they wanted a piggy-back ride. Cathie said she told the man to wait until she went home to get a pair of mittens. When she returned, she said, the man and Maria were gone. She did not know if the man had an automobile. A plastic doll owned by Maria was found on the street near where she and Cathie had been playing. No other clues to the missing girl had been found during the following all-night search of vacant lots, corn fields, freight cars and vacant houses and buildings in this De Kalb County community of some 7,000, about 60 miles northwest of Chicago. A search was also made along the Kishwaukee River. A score of FBI agents searched the area for clues to the disappearance of Ridolph, feared kidnaped and perhaps killed by a sex fiend. Richard D. Auerbach, special agent in charge of the FBI offfce in Chicago, came here to head a growing team of FBI men from Chicago and Rockford. The FBI entered the case Wednesday night after waiting 24 hours under terms of the Lindbergh kidnap law. Throughout the night agents questioned a steady stream of known sex deviates and persons with police records. But with each passing hour hope dwindled that curly haired Maria would be found alive. High on the list of those wanted for questioning was a 21 year old Sycamore man, recently discharged from the Air Force. The man, known as "Commando," left Wednesday morning with a companion on a trip to Miami, Florida. Police Chief William Hindenburg said "Commando" had given piggy back rides to children. Authorities said "Commando" was driving a 1950 two-door green Oldsmobile with Illinois license plates 3-070-398, and was believed to have taken U. S. 41 to Florida. A massive search of the surrounding countryside by an estimated 1,000 lawmen and volunteers was called off when the cold and tired searchers returned empty-handed. Some of them had not slept in 30 hours. But the only possible clues turned up were the girl's doll, a paper restaurant napkin, footprints, a man's blood-stained shirt and a pair of girl's black corduroy slacks. The doll, which Maria had been playing with when she vanished, was sent to the FBI laboratory in Washington for possible fingerprints. The girl's parents said the slacks were not hers. Authorities said Maria's distraught parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mike Ridolph, had received no ransom note. Anxious parents kept their children indoors and this city of 6,669 appeared to be a ghost town without the happy cries of children in the streets. Business came to a virtual standstill as shopkeepers closed their doors and factories dismissed workers to join the search, which fanned out throughout the county.