IL IL - Maria Ridulph, 7, Sycamore, 3 Dec 1957

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by anthrobones, Jun 13, 2006.

  1. anthrobones

    anthrobones New Member

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    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.
     
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  2. anthrobones

    anthrobones New Member

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    bumping up post
     
  3. anthrobones

    anthrobones New Member

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    Bumping up post for Maria
     
  4. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    Her birthdate is "around 1950"? Isn't it odd that there isn't a more definite birthdate for her? It's an old case, but not that old.
     
  5. Mocha Java

    Mocha Java Moderately Caffeinated

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    This case piqued my interest, so I did a bit of searching online about it. I found the following link that shows this case has been solved:

    http://www.cityofsycamore.com/City%20Council/2002%20Minutes/cc081902.pdf

    The name listed in the document is “Maria Ridulph” rather than “Maria Ridolph”, but it must be the same child. It is a PDF file; I will quote the relevant part:



    SYCAMORE CITY COUNCIL – REGULAR MEETING

    MINUTES OF AUGUST 19, 2002

    Presentation of Bronze Plaque to Frances I. Ridulph, Chuck and Diane Ridulph, Patricia (Ridulph) and Bill Quinn, Kay (Ridulph) and Lawrence Hickey. This plaque will be mounted on a permanent masonry base outside the Municipal Building and will replace the memorial that has been mounted on the building in honor of the memory of Maria Elizabeth Ridulph. Maria was kidnapped on December 3, 1957 while playing near her home and was found murdered in the spring of 1958. The original memorial, and this new memorial, honors her memory and the compassion of those law enforcement professionals and local residents who reached out to the family during their tragic experience.

    Administrator Nicklas explained that for many years the Municipal Building had featured a memorial to a tragic time in our Community’s history. He said the memorial was in honor of Maria Ridulph who was kidnapped from her home on December 3, 1957 and found murdered in the spring of 1958. Mr. Nicklas said that about a year ago he opened conversation with the Ridulph family to provide a more lasting and fitting memorial that told the story of Maria Ridulph’s kidnapping and how the community rallied to search for her.

    Mayor Swedberg read the plaque that will be placed on a pedestal in front of the Municipal Building.

    Chuck Ridulph thanked the City for the tribute and remembrance to his sister.


    I've never sent anything to the Doe Network, but I'll do what I can to get this link to their attention.
     
  6. mfmangel1

    mfmangel1 New Member

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    Maria was found....But not her killer. :(
     
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  7. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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    It would be interesting to know the whole story.

    It's weird -- the Doenetwork pictures of her don't look like the same person. It looks like two photos of two different girls!
     
  8. anthrobones

    anthrobones New Member

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    Interesting....

    I guess whoever posted it on DoeNetwork did not know it was solved. That is weird.
     
  9. grievousangel

    grievousangel Member

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    Has anyone been brought to trial for her murder...were/are there any persons of interest?
     
  10. Mocha Java

    Mocha Java Moderately Caffeinated

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    Do you have any information? I have been searching online but have not found anything about anybody being charged or suspected. I'll continue to search and will post anything else I find regarding this case.
     
  11. mfmangel1

    mfmangel1 New Member

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    I spent quite a bit of time on this yesterday, but I didn't find anything new.

    I am still searching. Such a sad story.
     
  12. Marie

    Marie Daughter, if you don't remember us...who will?

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    Maria was born March 12, 1950 and died December 3, 1957. She is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Sycamore, IL.

    GALENA, Ill., April 27, 1958 (AP) The body of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph, missing from her home in Sycamore, Ill., since Dec. 3, was found yesterday near Galena in northwestern Illinois by a couple hunting mushrooms.

    For anyone further interested, I have posted 2 newspaper articles here and here.


     
  13. Marie

    Marie Daughter, if you don't remember us...who will?

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    Has anyone reported to Doe Network that Maria was found long ago? I'm surprised they didn't check with LE before posting her case.
     
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  14. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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    I just sent an email to the contact person listed on the Doe Network for "Case Updates".
     
  15. Mocha Java

    Mocha Java Moderately Caffeinated

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    I did the same thing, Gina... and received the following reply:

     
  16. Gina_M

    Gina_M New Member

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    I got a reply as well:

    "Thank you we got it just need time to remove her."

    ETA: I clicked the link again and it looks like she's been removed from the Doe Network.
     
  17. Mr. E

    Mr. E New Member

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  18. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone have any further information about this person of interest? What was his real name, and was he ever apprehended?

    The information about a bloodied man's shirt is interesting. Was it preserved as evidence, and possibly still available for DNA testing?

    Who was the child killer mentioned as operating in and around Chicago at the time, and what was his MO?
     
  19. joellegirl

    joellegirl Member

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    I may be wrong, but I don't think it is believed that the same killer is responsible for all these murders. Kenneth Hanson is in prison for the Schuessler/Peterson murders but the Grimes sisters and Judith Mae Anderson's killer have never been found. There have been many suspects through the years, some police are almost certain of, but for some reason couldn't prove it or some crazy reason standing in the way of an arrest.. I need to check my books etc on this subject. I'm just working on my memory of what I have read , the stories I have heard about these murders through the years and I could be wrong. Anyone who lived in Chicago in the 1950's remember's these murders and how they affected them. I remember years ago the Chicago newspapers doing stories on these murders from time to time.

    I believe Kenneth Hanson was involved with Silas Jayne and his group. Silas Jayne is beleived to have been involved in the disappearance of three young women from the Indiana Dunes State Park in 1966. We've discussed that case here on Websleuths awhile back. Other unsolved Chicago murders have also been possibly tied to Silas Jayne.

    As for Maria Ridulph, that is a good point, Richard, about the bloody clothes. With today's technology maybe this case could be solved. I wonder if the Sycamore police dept has ever thought of looking into this old case.

    http://www.prairieghosts.com/spmurders.html

    http://www.prairieghosts.com/grimes.html

    http://www.quirkyworks.com/judith_mae_andersen/chronology/
     
  20. 2sisters

    2sisters New Member

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