SIOUX CITY -- An autopsy has determined that a Hinton, Iowa, woman whose body was found in a burned Sioux City hotel room was strangled.
Elizabeth Bockholt's death has been ruled a homicide, the Sioux City Police Department said in a news release Tuesday. Her body was found Thursday after police and firefighters responded to a fire call in a room at the Wingate by Wyndham, 4716 Southern Hills Drive.
Jordan Henry, already in custody on a first-degree arson charge in connection with the case, has been charged with first-degree murder. His bond was raised from $52,000 to $500,000 at an initial appearance on the murder charge Tuesday afternoon.
According to a complaint filed Tuesday in Woodbury County District Court, Henry strangled Bockholt to death in room 102 at about 9:24 p.m., removed a smoke alarm and set the room on fire.
Henry, a 29-year-old transient living in Sioux City, was identified on surveillance video and by witnesses who saw him leaving the scene just after the fire was discovered, the complaint said.
Bockholt, 40, was found unconscious in the room when police and firefighters arrived soon after. Attempts to resuscitate her failed, and she was pronounced dead at a hospital. Bockholt was a mother of four.
Police have not commented on whether Henry and Bockholt knew each other or how they happened to be in the room together.
Henry was arrested at approximately 2:43 a.m. Friday morning in the 4900 block of Singing Hills Boulevard, where police had been dispatched for a report of a suspicious person in the area. He was arrested on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia in addition to arson.
The hotel remained open after the fire, and repairs on the damaged room were set to begin soon.