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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.
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.
“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, Bodensteiner and her husband, Michael Bodensteiner, had a stormy marriage and separated in 1992. Sandy Choate and her husband, Randy Choate, pleaded with their daughter to return to New Providence, but 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 the Choates since the Bodensteiners separated.
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.
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.
She was raised in New Providence, where she attended school.
Private graveside services were held August 11 at the Paton Township Cemetery in Greene County 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 the Iowa DCI at 515-725-6010.
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