Wow...what a contrast to the way things have been handled here. Persistence, open-minded reception of non-LE ideas, unforced relationship to the media, open proclamations of empathy for victims' families...and they're doing it purely for the knowledge, not to catch the perpetrator, who in their case is already dead.
Post by Helen Dagner on Jun 22, 2011 11:13:28 GMT -5
Calif. police begin digging for missing girl The Associated Press Posted: 06/21/2011 09:32:35 AM PDT Updated: 06/21/2011 05:47:59 PM PDT
SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—Authorities seeking the body of a 7-year-old girl who vanished nearly 50 years ago began excavating a patch of earth Tuesday at a site where a confessed child serial killer helped build an overpass along U.S. Highway 101.
Investigators scraped away dirt after dogs trained to detect decayed human remains recently signaled it was an area of interest, police Lt. Paul McCaffrey said.
The overpass west of Santa Barbara was completed shortly after Ramon Price went missing in 1961.
Investigators excavated about three feet of dirt over an area half the size of a tennis court on the north side of the highway, McCaffrey said.
The excavation could take several days and an anthropologist was standing by in case any bones were uncovered.
Ramona vanished as her family was packing to change homes in Santa Barbara. The little girl told her father she would walk to the new home a few miles away but she never arrived.
Police now suspect Ramona was a victim of Mack Ray Edwards, who turned himself in to authorities in 1970 after kidnapping three girls from the Sylmar area of Los Angeles. Edwards eventually claimed to have killed more than 20 children.
He hanged himself while on death row in his San Quentin prison cell in 1971.
Edwards, who drove backhoes and other machinery during the Southern California freeway boom, told fellow prisoners that he had buried victims in the dirt under the roads.
checking the overpass site after Weston DeWalt, an author and investigator, pointed out that Ramona's disappearance was similar to other killings by Edwards.
SEATTLE — An unused, unstamped train ticket helped lead to charges against a Seattle man in the abduction and killing of a 7-year-old Illinois girl in 1957.
Prosecutors in northern Illinois' DeKalb County charged Jack Daniel McCullough, 71, on Friday with murdering Maria Ridulph, who was last seen playing with a friend near her home in Sycamore, about 50 miles west of Chicago. Mushroom hunters found Maria's remains five months later in a wooded area about 100 miles from her hometown.
McCullough claimed he took the train from Rockford, Ill., to Chicago the day of the abduction. But The Seattle Times, citing a probable-cause statement filed in court, reported Saturday that a woman who dated McCullough at the time found, while searching through personal items last year at the request of investigators, an unused, unstamped train ticket from Rockford to Chicago dated the day the girl went missing.
It's unclear whether McCullough has an attorney. He remains jailed in Seattle on $3 million bond and was scheduled for a court appearance there Saturday.
McCullough's arrest drew elation from Kathy Chapman, the 8-year-old girl Maria played with the night she vanished. Now a grandmother, Chapman told the Chicago Tribune that last year investigators showed her a photo of McCullough as a teenager in a photo lineup, and Chapman identified him as a young man from her Sycamore neighborhood who offered a piggyback ride to her and Maria as the two girls played under a corner streetlight. She knew him as "Johnny."
Chapman, who lives near Chicago in St. Charles, Ill., said she ran home and never saw Maria again.
McCullough's arrest "puts a lot of things to rest now. I'm so happy for the family," Chapman told the Tribune. "And nobody gave up on it. That's the good thing about it."
The search for Maria in December 1957 grew to involve more than 1,000 law enforcers and numerous other community members, ultimately catching the attention of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who requested daily updates, DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell said in a written statement Friday.
Two people foraging for mushrooms in Jo Davies County, in Illinois' northwest corner, found the girl's remains on April 26, 1958.