A man is being extradited from Colombia on a federal fugitive warrant for the first-degree murder of a woman in Overland Park, Kansas
The murder occurred earlier this month, but police did not announce it until the suspect was in custody in Colombia. Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass said the suspect was considered a flight risk and officials were afraid he might slip into Venezuela or another country with which the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty.
The victim was 39-year-old Franchesca D. Brown, a pediatrician from Myrtle Beach. She was attending a medical conference at the Hawthorne Suites hotel, 11400 College Blvd. She was last seen, accompanied by a man, at a Sept. 3 opening social gathering for the conference.
Brown was expected home in South Carolina on Sept. 8. When she did not arrive, her family contacted police Sept. 9.
Douglass said Browns body was discovered last Wednesday in a wooded area near the Hawthorne Suites.
Police identified John Meredith Hodges, described as in his mid-40s and possibly from Virginia, as a suspect in the case.
He is thought to have had an off-and-on relationship with Brown, who might have invited him to meet her at the conference.
Sometime after Brown was last seen, Hodges flew to Colombia. A federal fugitive warrant for his arrest was issued with the help of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The warrant and complaint were sealed until Hodges was arrested by Colombian authorities.
Neither Douglass nor Johnson County District Attorney Stephen Howe would discuss details of the murder.
In addition to murder, Hodges faces eight charges of identity theft, one charge of computer crime and two charges of credit card fraud. Officials said those charges related to the use of Browns identity.
Hodges is expected to be returned to Johnson County in the next two days.
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