Murder suspect in Niles cold case extradited from Texas


NILES, Ill. — The man accused of murdering a Niles woman more than 30 years ago is now back in the Chicago area.

Richard Sisto was booked at Niles Police Department headquarters Tuesday morning after being extradited from Texas.

Police said on Nov. 8, 1992, Sisto allegedly killed 35-year-old Helen Cardwell at the Leaning Tower YMCA. Cardwell had just moved to the area to start a job at Lutheran General Hospital.

In November 2020, members of the Niles Police Detective Bureau reopened the case.

After entering evidence to the Northeastern Illinois Crime Lab, DNA evidence connected 72-year-old Richard Sisto — who was not an initial suspect — to Cardwell’s homicide.

When authorities discovered Sisto’s whereabouts, law enforcement learned he was already in custody for a parole violation warrant in Harris County, Texas.

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