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$1,000,000 Bond Set for Manchester Man Charged with 2004 Keokuk Murder

A bond of $1,000,000 has been set for a Manchester man accused of a killing a Keokuk woman 16 years ago.

33-year old Nathanial Ridnour was taken into custody Tuesday in Delaware County on a warrant for his arrest. He is charged with First Degree Murder in the death of 73-year old Bonnie Callahan, who was found dead in June 2004 along the bank of the Mississippi River in Keokuk. Investigators said she had been dumped in the river, with her body showing signs of blunt force trauma.

According to court documents, Ridnour lived with his father in the same apartment complex as Callahan. Ridnour, who was 17 years old at the time, was pursuing a relationship with Callahan’s 15-year old granddaughter, which Callahan did not approve of.

As her murder was investigated in 2004, Ridnour became the sole suspect – and gave inconsistent statements to investigators regarding his whereabouts the evening Callahan disappeared. Court documents state that Ridnour originally said he was out walking around the night Callahan was reported missing with no alibi, but he later stated he was on his dad’s couch and never left the apartment. Ridnour told a witness and law enforcement that he had gone to Callahan’s apartment to discuss a disagreement he had with her. After law enforcement initially contacted Ridnour, he told a witness he “needed to get out of town” because he was a suspect in the murder. He left Keokuk a few days later for Coal Valley, Illinois and never returned, eventually moving to Manchester.

In 2017, the case was reopened during a cold case review initiated by the Keokuk Police Department and Division of Criminal Investigation Major Crimes Unit. After again speaking to the witnesses, law enforcement conducted another interview with Ridnour in 2019. Court documents state that when confronted by investigators about being responsible for Callahan’s death, Ridnour did not deny killing her, but said he couldn’t remember killing her – also saying he “didn’t mean it or want to hurt anyone”. He said he went to her apartment to “make things right”.

A warrant was issued for Ridnour’s arrest on Monday. Delaware County Sheriff John LeClere tells KMCH that the Sheriff’s Office called Ridnour and asked him to come to their office. When he arrived on Tuesday, he was informed of the warrant and placed under arrest without incident.

Ridnour was transported to Lee County in far southeast Iowa, where he remains in jail. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 15th.


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