SYCAMORE, Ill. — The defense has rested its case on behalf of a Seattle man accused of killing a 7-year-old northern Illinois girl in 1957.
Attorneys for 72-year-old Jack McCullough rested their case after calling just a few witnesses over a few hours on Thursday. The judge recessed shortly after the defense finished and suggested he could rule Friday after closing arguments.
McCullough, who was once a police officer in Milton, has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and killing Maria Ridulph in Sycamore on Dec. 3, 1957.
McCullough was arrested in 2011 after his former girlfriend talked to investigators.
Siblings and childhood friends of Ridulph have attended the trial. Among those in attendance in the courtroom Thursday were her brother and her childhood friend who saw Ridulph last before she was abducted.
McCullough sat just feet away showing no emotion. He occasionally took notes or leaned over to whisper to an attorney.
Many of the spectators lived in Sycamore when Ridulph's abduction horrified the small town and drew national media attention.
One spectator Thursday was 85-year-old Jerry Taylor. He helped with the massive search for the girl and said her murder horrified the entire community. Ridulph's body was found in a forest five months later, 120 miles away.
Beginning in the 1970s, McCullough worked as a police officer in Lacey and Milton, but was fired from Milton in the 1980s amid the sexual abuse allegations. He pleaded guilty to unlawfully communicating with a minor and went on to private security jobs.
The News Tribune contributed to this report.