The man accused of the 1957 kidnapping and killing of a 7-year-old
Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, appeared in Seattle courtroom this morning in a brief hearing. Afterwards, his attorney, Cailin Daley, said his return to Illinois would be "prompt," but she did not provide specifics.
Authorities have declined to reveal what prompted them to reopen the investigation of the murder of Maria Ridulph.
McCullough appeared in court wearing a red jail jumpsuit and large eyeglasses. Following the hearing, his stepdaughter Janey O'Connor said she had no doubt the man she calls "dad" is innocent of the charges.
"The sooner he gets to Illinois to trial, the sooner he can come home," she said to reporters. "He's a strong person. His main focus is my mom and how this is affecting the family."
McCullough's wife Sue, with whom he lived in Seattle nursing home until his arrest, did not attend the hearing.
One of McCullough's former wives told the Tribune last week that Illinois authorities called her in 2010 and interviewed her several days before he was arrested in Seattle.According to court records, the woman said she found nude images of McCullough's daughter taped to the bottom of a desk.
Court records also show that Illinois police have investigated the case for the last two years, and that they also interviewed McCullough's sisters. One of the sisters alleged that McCullough, who then went by the name John Tessier, sexually abused her and other girls in the neighborhood, according to the records.
McCullough joined the Air Force and later the Army. In 1972, he was stationed at the Army base in Fort Lewis, Wash., an hour south of
Until his arrest three weeks ago, McCullough was a night watchman at the Four Freedoms House of Seattle, a retirement complex where he lived with his wife of 16 years.