- Courtesy photo Brittany Wise
- Connie Choate Bodensteiner
Connie Jo Choate Bodensteiner
Connie Jo Choate Bodensteiner
2800 Fleur Drive
Des Moines, IA
August 8, 1995
Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing
On Tuesday, August 8, 1995, Connie Jo Choate Bodensteiner was found locked in a basement storage bin at a south-side Des Moines apartment complex. An autopsy showed the 24-year-old had been strangled.
A maintenance worker discovered Bodensteiner’s body, which had a strap or belt around the young mother’s neck.
A “Rough Life”
In a Cedar Rapids Gazette article dated Friday, August 11, 1995, Bodensteiner’s mother, Sandy Choate of New Providence, said her daughter had run into problems before she was killed.
Polk County in Iowa
Des Moines in Polk County
“She had a lot of problems,” Choate said. “She just chose a rough life.”
Bodensteiner had dropped out of school in the 10th grade.
Des Moines police Lt. Clarence Jobe told the Gazette Bodensteiner had been arrested four times on prostitution charges and once on a drug-related charge.
According to Choate’s mother, Bodensteiner and her husband, Michael, had a stormy marriage and separated in 1992. Despite her parents’ plea for her to return to New Providence, Bodensteiner always returned to Des Moines, Choate said.
Choate told the Gazette she last saw her daughter July 23 when Bodensteiner came to New Providence to see her 5-year-old daughter, Brittany. Brittany had been living with Choate and her husband, Randy, since the Bodensteiners separated.
Officials Examine Links in Murders
Authorities at first wondered whether Bodensteiner’s murder may be connected to that of 37-year-old Angela Buck of Waterloo. The day after Bodensteiner’s body was found, Buck was found near a creek on North Pilot Grove Road with a single gunshot wound to the chest.
Des Moines police Sgt. Tom Trimble said in an East Iowa Journal story published August 18, 1995 that both Bodensteiner and Buck had records of prostitution and once worked for the same person.
Officials later determined the two women’s deaths were not connected.
About Connie Jo
Connie Jo Choate was born December 15, 1970 in Ames, Iowa, to Sandra Shenton and Randy Choate. She had four brothers: Jason, John, James, and Craig.
- Courtesy photo “Hooked on Family” at Findagrave.com
- Connie Jo Choate Bodensteiner was buried at Paton Cemetery in Greene County, Iowa.
She was raised in New Providence, where she attended school.
Private graveside services were held August 11 at the Paton Township Cemetery with the Rev. C.G. White officiating.
If you have any information about Connie Choate Bodensteiner’s unsolved murder please contact the Des Moines Police Department at 515-283-4864 or Iowa Cold Cases via our Contact form.
- Personal correspondence with Brittany Wise (victim’s daughter), December 2012
- Kimberly Frazier, Correspondence with Iowa Cold Cases, February 2012
- Find a Grave Memorial
- Social Security Death Index
- “Slayings keep D.M. police stumped,” The Des Moines Register, September 13, 2003
- “No links seen between 2 killings: Victims’ paths crossed, but Des Moines, Waterloo deaths appear unrelated, say police,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 18, 1995
- “News Roundup – No Links Found in Murders,” The East Iowa Journal, August 18, 1995
- “C. Bodensteiner,” The Eldora Herald Ledger, August 15, 1995
- “Local Girl Dies; Still No Answers,” The Eldora Herald Ledger, August 15, 1995
- “Inquiry retraces homicide,” The Burlington Hawk Eye, August 13, 1995
- “Police look for murder links,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 13, 1995
- “D.M. murder victim had troubled past, mother says,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, August 11, 1995
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