Wisconsin Cold Case: Connie Boelter

Local News

A mother of four, Connie Boelter often worked two jobs to make sure her kids had the best lives they could.

“Connie was an easy-going person,” said Dawn Gunderson, Boelter’s oldest daughter. 

“She was very family-oriented. We spent a lot of time together, she loved her grand kids, just very family-oriented. Would help with anything. January 26th would have been her 69th birthday.”

As the years passed, Boelter found a job at a local bank and life was normal.
Until the bank called in November 2006, and said she never showed up.

“Nobody ever wakes up in the morning thinking their whole life is going to change forever,” she said.

Her daughter was about to make a cruel discovery.

“I had a key to her house, so I went over to check on her and I’m the one who found her,” said Gunderson. “In hindsight, I would never do that again. I would never go and check on anybody by myself.”

Her mother was beaten to death, and to this day a killer walks among us.

“I don’t think someone can do something like that and not look over their shoulder,” said Mike Boelter, Connie’s son. “So, I hope whoever it is is looking over their shoulder every day.”

Sgt. Neal Rabas, an investigator at the Appleton Police Department, says the victim had no enemies and that is partly why the case has been so difficult.
Nothing was taken from her house. She was the target of a killer who has managed to escape justice for over a decade.
The FBI recently reviewed the evidence–collecting more DNA, but nothing conclusive.

“She always taught us if you let somebody bad–like who did whatever they did to her–ruin our lives, then they win,” said Mike Boelter. “Where if we still live our lives and be good people, and happy with what we have, then they don’t win.”

A mother still very much alive in the hearts of the family she left behind.

“We honor her by living our life,” said Gunderson. “She was all about family. If we became terrible parents or fought amongst ourselves, that wouldn’t be honoring her.”

Still, not a day goes by where their mother’s absence is not noticed.

“In some ways it feels like forever,” she said. “And in some ways, it feels like just yesterday. I know exactly where I was standing, exactly what I was doing when I got the call from the bank.”

Sgt. Rabas says the department still gets tips on the case, with a recent one putting them in the early stages of possibly linking a new suspect to the crime.

The more time it takes, the more likely it becomes that the mystery will go unsolved.

“Lot of people still ask about it,” said Mike. “And what I usually tell them is that we’re just lucky we had such a good mom for how long as we did.”

Her kids say when people think of Boelter, they should think of a caring mother who lived for her family. And that death does not define her.

“That’s not who she was. That was what somebody did to her,” said Gunderson. “That wasn’t who she was.”
Remembering how she handled things and how she taught us to treat other people and move forward in life. Things aren’t what’s important, it’s the people around you.”

A person of interest was originally announced in 2015, though the district attorney’s office did not feel it had enough evidence for a conviction.
If you have any information on this case, please contact police.

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