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Man Charged In Deaths Of Mom, Daughter Found In Burning Home On South Side

CHICAGO (STMW) -- A Chicago man has been charged in the deaths of a mother and her daughter whose bodies were found in a burning home on the South Side.

Thaddeus Ridley has been charged with murder and aggravated arson, prosecutors said Saturday.

Ridley — who was wearing a thin jail pantsuit when he was arrested though he has no criminal history — was ordered held without bail in the deaths of Cherie Adams, 42, and her daughter Curtria Duncan, 24.

Prosecutors did not offer a motive for the killings, though they said Ridley had dated Duncan.

Rochelle Pinex said Adams had dated her father for 20 years and was like a second mother to her. Pinex said Adams helped raise her and her siblings.

Pinex said she spoke regularly with Adams, who she described as a very private person, and can't understand why anyone would want to hurt her and her daughter, who was a radiology student at Kennedy-King College. But Pinex also said Adams had recently expressed concerns about someone trying to break in to her home.

"Last time I chit-chatted with her, she said someone was trying to come through her window at night," Pinex said.

The bodies were discovered early Wednesday at 8101 S. Maryland Ave. in Chatham. Firefighters found Duncan in the bathtub, having been stabbed twice and smothered, and Adams on the bathroom floor, having been stabbed an estimated 60 times and struck. They'd been attacked before the fire was set.

Firefighters called to the scene found fire burning in a bedroom and the kitchen and discovered the bodies.

Two days later, the police were called to a report of a suicidal subject who slammed the door on the police. When they forced their way inside, they found a chair on fire and the man, identified as Ridley, holding a sword and two military knives, prosecutors said.

While being taken to St. Bernard Hospital psychiatric care, prosecutors said he told officers, "I should be going to 26th and California" — the site of the main Cook County criminal courts building and the Cook County Jail.

Prosecutors say Ridley confessed to stabbing Adams in the back and then, when Duncan walked in, trying to rip out her vocal cords and stabbing her.

The police said they found three Molotov cocktails at his home, their wicks lit. They also found Mace and latex gloves.

Prosecutors said three witnesses identified him.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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