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Cleared: Belfast man declared innocent over 1957 murder in US

A Belfast-born man has been cleared of the murder of a seven-year-old girl in the United States.

Jack Daniel McCullough (77) was convicted of murdering Maria Ridulph in 2012 and jailed for life.

She was abducted while playing with a friend near her home in Sycamore, about 50 miles west of Chicago, Illinois, in 1957.

The Belfast man was only a teenager at the time and he wasn’t arrested and convicted of the crime until more than 55 years later, after a career in the US military and later as a police man in Seattle.

Last year evidence was uncovered supporting his alibi that he was in a different city, attempting to enlist in the US Air Force, at the time of the brutal murder which shocked the States at the time.

The FBI concluded that Mr McCullough could not have driven the 35 miles in a 22-minute time span and therefore could not have committed the crime.

Lawyers for Mr McCullough have said they could pursue legal action for the wrongful conviction.

Mr McCullough was born in Belfast and moved to America with his mother at the age of seven.

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