ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A CBS4 Investigation has learned that Adams County authorities are investigating the death of a 34-year-old stripper found brutally beaten and strangled to death last week.
The woman, Krista Ann Boma, is the daughter of an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Denver, James Boma.
“It’s still an active, ongoing investigation,” said Adams County Sheriff’s Sgt. Terrance O’Neill, who declined to release details of what is being described by insiders as a particularly gruesome murder.
Boma danced at several Adams County strip clubs under the names “Petra,” “Sophia” and “Loren.” She had rented room 402 at the Valli Hi Motor Hotel, 7320 Pecos St., in Adams County last week.
When Boma failed to check out of her room, a maid unlocked the door and found Boma dead. Those familiar with the scene say Boma was naked on the bed with a pillow over her head.
One motel employee told CBS4 it was “The worst thing she had ever seen in her life.”
Stan Cordova, who is staying at the motel in a second floor room near where the murder took place, said a motel clerk called him about 12:30 a.m. Friday.
“I got a phone call and they asked if we were fighting- they heard someone yelling and screaming,” said Cordova.
Later on Friday, authorities arrested 28-year-old Michael Earl Smith Jr., a transient also known as “Mellow,” who had apparently also been staying at the Valli Hi motel. He was formally charged Thursday with murder, robbery and sexual assault in connection with the Boma case.
Court records show Smith pleaded guilty in Arapahoe County to a street robbery in August 2011. He served 204 days in jail and had just been released in March of this year. Prior to that, Smith had felony convictions in New York state and Florida, where he had done prison time.
Prosecutors indicated Krista Boma’s money, cellphone and iPod had been stolen. In court, they also said there may be other suspects at large in the case, but they did not provide further details. At the request of prosecutors, a Judge sealed the case.
Records show Smith is 5-foot-9 and 200 pounds while the blonde haired, blue eyed Boma was 5-feet and 95 pounds.
She was the mother of three but had apparently been living on her own.
Boma had recently worked as a stripper at several Adams County clubs.
The manager of Saturday Night Live, a Federal Blvd strip club, told CBS4 Boma last danced there a couple months ago for a few days. At another club, she told a co-worker her father was a U.S. Attorney.
Her father, Jim Boma, is a veteran Assistant US Attorney in Denver. He previously worked as a federal prosecutor in Florida.
One employee of the Valli Hi told CBS4 detectives took surveillance video from both the hotel and an on-site restaurant and bar.
Michael Smith is due back in court in a week. Smith is being held without bond at the Adams County Jail and declined a CBS4 interview request.
Jeff Dorschner, spokesman for the US Attorney’s Office in Denver, said, “Our hearts go out to the Boma family. We believe that this is a private family matter and ask people to give them privacy.”
Michael DiPace, Boma’s ex-husband, told CBS4 Krista Boma was a great cook and a mother “with three beautiful children. She was loved by everybody and we will all miss her.”
– Written by Brian Maass for CBSDenver.com