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Kansas charges filed in death of visiting doctor

Published on -9/18/2012, 7:32 AM

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -- Prosecutors in northeastern Kansas have charged a suspect with murdering a South Carolina pediatrician who was in the area for a medical conference earlier this month.

The body of 39-year-old Dr. Franchesca Brown, of Myrtle Beach, was discovered Sept. 12 in a field near an Overland Park hotel.

The suspect was identified Monday as John Meredith Hodges, believed to be from Virginia. Police say Hodges fled to South America and has been captured in Colombia. He's expected to be returned to the Kansas City area this week.

Overland Park and Johnson County authorities said Hodges was Brown's occasional boyfriend. They believe she invited him to visit her in Kansas.

Hodges is charged with first-degree murder, credit card fraud and identity theft.

No other details were released Monday.

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