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Case information provided by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
Arthur Leon Ransford, a 36-year-old Vietnam veteran, went missing from his Keokuk, Iowa home in Lee County on Tuesday, November 22, 1983. His wife reported him missing Thanksgiving Day.
On Sunday, May 13, 1984, Ransford’s body was found about two miles south of Montrose, enclosed in a large yellow bag and buried under cement blocks in a wooded area overlooking the Mississippi River.
The father of two had been shot in the head before being bagged and buried on the river bluff.
DCI Chief Thomas Ruxlow said officials positively identified Ransford’s remains on Friday, May 18, 1984, using fingerprints.
When the DCI established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Arthur Ransford’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.
Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit ran out in December 2011, the DCI remains committed to resolving Iowa’s cold cases. The DCI will continue to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.
The DCI remains committed to Iowa’s cold cases and continues to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.
Arthur Leon Ransford was born March 20, 1947 in Memphis, Missouri, in Scotland County to Thelma Maxine (Long) and William Byron Ransford.
He served in the Army during the Vietnam War, and was survived by his wife, a daughter, and a son, Michael Ransford.
Military rites were conducted May 22, 1984, with interment following in the Keokuk National Cemetery for Veterans.
If you have any information about Arthur Ransford’s unsolved murder please contact the Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (319) 372-1152, (319) 524-1414 or 1-800-382-8900, or contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.