Slaying suspect's Air Force exam records destroyed

By the Associated Press | July 12, 2011 | 1:29 PM EDT

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Military records that a former police officer says would help exonerate him in a 1957 Illinois slaying no longer exist.

An archivist with a federal repository of military records in St. Louis says Jack Daniel McCullough's Air Force file was destroyed in a 1973 fire at the storage site.

McCullough told The Associated Press in a jailhouse interview last week that the records would prove he was having a military medical examination in Chicago the day 7-year-old Maria Ridulph (RIHD'-uhlf) disappeared in Sycamore, Ill., on Dec. 3, 1957.

But archivist Kevin Cowan says none of McCullough's records survived the fire. McCullough went by the name of John Tessier at the time.

McCullough was arrested last month in Seattle. He's being held on a fugitive charge pending his return to Illinois.