Indiana man arrested in cold case on Halloween for 41-year unsolved murder

By | November 1, 2023

Police in Indiana say Ronald Jack Anderson escaped murder for two-thirds of his life.

Officers arrested Anderson for murder this Halloween, exactly 41 years after investigators said he killed Clifford Smith. Indiana State Police announcement the break in the Case closed Tuesday.

“I am glad they are finally putting an end to this matter, allowing us to let our brother rest in peace,” Leonard Smith told WHAS-TV in Louisville, adding: “We always said he was the one who did it. Our whole family, we knew… that he had done it.

Local media have reported that Smith was Anderson’s brother-in-law.

Smith was a 24-year-old former Army soldier working for the town of Seymour, Indiana — about 60 miles south of Indianapolis — when his wife reported him missing on Nov. 4, 1982, according to the police and local newspapers.

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On the first day of December 1982, two animal trappers found Smith, in blue jeans and a T-shirt, with a gunshot wound to the head, floating in a shallow bayou near Seymour, local newspapers reported. Divers searched the mud for evidence.

At the time, a police detective told reporters that investigators were looking for a shotgun.

Indiana State Police said Sgt. Kip Main has been investigating the case since September 2015. According to the police announcement, Main discovered Anderson was at a home in Seymour with Smith and a few others late on October 30, 1982.

Police said Main’s investigation revealed that Anderson retrieved a shotgun from the house and loaded it before Anderson – with the gun in tow – and Smith left the house in the same vehicle.

“Smith was not seen alive after leaving the residence late at night,” police said.

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Indiana police did not explain why they believed Anderson killed Smith, but they wrote that Anderson allegedly “took the murder weapon home…and returned to the crime scene shortly after.” time after the murder to hide potential evidence.”

Sgt. Stephen Wheeles told reporters that investigators used “recent investigative techniques” to gather evidence in the case and link the murder to Anderson.

“I guess it’s kind of a sigh of relief after all these years to finally hear that an arrest was made in the death of their loved one,” Wheeles said.

Anderson remained in the Jackson County Jail on murder charges as of Wednesday morning, according to online records.


An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Seymour, Indiana, was north of Indianapolis. It’s south of the city. The article has been corrected.

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