Lee County in Iowa

Lee County in Iowa

Cold Cases in Lee County, Iowa

*Please Note: The cases listed below are within Lee County but may fall under a city police department’s jurisdiction. They are included here for cross-reference purposes. More specific information may be found on each victim’s individual page.


Cecil Earl Paris
31 YOA
Iowa Fiber Box Company
Keokuk, IA
Lee County
February 18, 1928

Iowa Fiber Box Company nightwatchman Cecil Earl Paris, 31, was shot while on duty on February 18, 1928.

Richard Buchanan

Richard Buchanan

Willard Woodring

Double Homicide
Willard Charles Woodring and
Richard B. Buchanan
Case # 60-00902
Keokuk, Iowa (Lee County)
October 9, 1960

On October 9, 1960, Willard Charles Woodring, 42, owner and operator of a house of prostitution, commonly referred to as the “Hawkeye Hotel,” and Richard B. Buchanan, 49, a customer, were shot and killed during a robbery by a young male gunman in a black leather jacket who was accompanied by a young red-head in a lavender dress.

Arthur Leon Ransford
36 YOA
Case # 84-02367
Disappeared from Keokuk Nov. 22, 1983
Body found south of Montrose
Lee County
May 13, 1984

Thirty-six-year-old Vietnam vet Arthur L. Ransford went missing from Keokuk, Iowa, November 22, 1983. On May 13, 1984, his remains were found enclosed in a large yellow bag someone had buried under cement blocks in a wooded area south of Montrose overlooking the Mississippi River.

Missing Person
Gary L. Counts
Age at Report: 42
Weight: 180 lbs.
Height: 5’06”
Race: White
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Blue
Sex: Male
Incident Type: Missing after a catastrophe
Missing From: Fort Madison, IA (jurisdiction)
Lee County
Reported Missing: May 3, 1994

Gary L. Counts, 42, was reported missing to the Fort Madison Police Department in Fort Madison, Iowa, on May 3, 1994, after a boating mishap. His body has never been recovered.

Eric Redinbo

Eric Redinbo

Suspected Homicide
Eric Scott Redinbo
18 YOA
Keokuk, IA
Lee County
February 12, 1999

Eric Scott Redinbo, 18, died Friday night, February 12, 1999, from a single blast to the head from a 12 gauge shotgun at a Keokuk, Iowa home. Officers said they were called to Susan Anderson’s house on Keokuk’s west side around 8:40 p.m. Friday, where they found Redinbo’s body. Police said the 12 gauge had accidentally gone off inside the home, hitting Redinbo once in the head. They ruled his death an accident. Barely two days later, Dolores “Toni” Hornung, 48, died early on Valentine’s Day after being shot with a 30-30 rifle. The two homes, less than 100 feet apart, had adjacent back yards. Horning’s death was ruled a homicide, and some believe the two cases are connected.

Dolores Hornung

Dolores Hornung

Dolores Antonia “Toni” Hornung
(aka Toni Martinez)
48 YOA
Case # 99-01605
Keokuk, IA
Lee County
February 14, 1999

Dolores A. “Toni” (Martinez) Hornung, 48, was shot to death in her Keokuk, Iowa home with a 30-30 rifle early Sunday morning on Valentine’s Day, 1999. Less than two days earlier, 18-year-old Eric Scott Redinbo was killed by a single blast to the head from a 12 gauge shotgun in a house that shared an adjacent back yard to Hornung’s home. Some believe the two cases are connected.

Bonnie Callahan

Bonnie Callahan

Bonnie Jean Callahan
73 YOA
111 S. Second St., Apt. 10
Mississippi Terrace
Keokuk, IA
Lee County
June 15, 2004

Bonnie Jean Callahan, 73, of 111 S. Second St., Apt. 10, Mississippi Terrace in Keokuk, was last seen alive at 10:30 p.m. Monday, June 14, 2004. A fisherman discovered her body Tuesday afternoon in the Mississippi River, floating in a small cove near the Southside Boat Club. According to an email from Callahan’s granddaughter sent to Iowa Cold Cases on Jan. 12, 2014, her grandmother was bludgeoned and placed in the river.

In a press release dated Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) announced the arrest of a suspect in the June 2004 death of Bonnie Callahan, 73, of Keokuk.

According the release: In April of 2017, the Division of Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) Major Crime Unit and the Keokuk Police Department reopened the investigation into the June 2004 death of Bonnie Callahan, 73, of Keokuk.

On June 15, 2004, family members reported Callahan missing. Later in the day, Callahan’s body was found along the bank of the Mississippi River front in Keokuk. The circumstances surrounding Callahan’s death were considered suspicious. The investigation identified Nathanial Leo Ridnour, 34, as a suspect in Callahan’s homicide.

The Keokuk Police Department and the DCI ‘s Major Crime Unit provided an updated case briefing to the Lee County Attorney’s Office and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office (Area Prosecutions). On May 4, 2020, an arrest warrant was issued for Ridnour for the murder of Callahan. Murder in the First Degree is a violation of Section 707.2(1) of the Code of Iowa, a Class A Felony. If convicted, the charge carries a life sentence without the possibility of parole. On May 5, 2020, Ridnour was taken into custody by the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office on the arrest warrant.

Read the full press release here.

One Response to Lee County

  1. Laura Walker says:

    toni you are my world and my best friend i love you and miss you a lot

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