Navy Vet Charged in South Side Stabbing that Killed Mom, Daughter

By Erica Demarest and Alex Parker  on February 23, 2013 1:55pm  | Updated on February 23, 2013 5:49pm

 Thadeus Ridley, 25, was charged in the murders of Curtria Duncan, 24, and her mother Cherie Adams, 43.
Thadeus Ridley, 25, was charged in the murders of Curtria Duncan, 24, and her mother Cherie Adams, 43.
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Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — Prosecutors described a grisly scene as they charged a South Side man in the murders of a mother and daughter whose bodies were found in a Chatham apartment that was set on fire this week.

Thadeus Ridley, 25, of the 2300 block of East 70th Street, was charged in the deaths of Cherie Adams, 43, and her daughter, Curtria Duncan, 24, and held without bail Saturday. Their bodies were found Wednesday in a bathroom in an apartment on the 8100 block of South Maryland Avenue.

Ridley was also charged with two counts of arson, for lighting the apartment where Adams and Duncan were found ablaze, and for attempting to light his own apartment on fire.

According to his defense attorney, Ridley was a Navy veteran working toward an associate’s degree. He had no criminal record.

Ridley confessed to the murders after police arrested him during an unrelated disturbance at his South Shore apartment Friday morning, authorities said.

According to Officer Alexander Starks Jr., who responded to the disturbance call, Ridley had been blasting "heavy metal music" and arguing with another man when cops entered the apartment.

Officers found a chair on fire, arrested Ridley, and were transporting him to a nearby hospital when Ridley “spontaneously” confessed to Wednesday’s murders, Starks said.

According to prosecutors, Duncan was stabbed twice in her throat and had been smothered. Adams had been stabbed more than 60 times in the torso and head; she also suffered blunt-force trauma to the head.

Prosecutors said Saturday that Ridley and Duncan had dated at one point. But Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy refused to speculate on Ridley’s motives or his relationship to the victims.

There was no forced entry in the women’s apartment, McCarthy said.

Prosecutors claimed that when Ridley was taken into custody, he had a sword and two military-type knives, which police confiscated.

Ridley allegedly told police that he slashed Duncan’s throat and put her in a bathtub to bleed out, prosecutors said.

He said he beat Adams and tried to rip her vocal cords out, prosecutors said.

Ridley's next court date is scheduled for Monday.

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