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Suspect in doctor's death found dead in jail cell

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) -- Johnson County authorities say a man charged in the death of a South Carolina pediatrician died in his jail cell.

Master Deputy Tom Erickson says 45-year-old John Meredith Hodges was found unresponsive in the cell on Monday. Efforts to resuscitate him failed. Erickson says the death is being investigated as a suicide but released no other details.

Hodges was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old Franchesca D. Brown, of Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Brown's body was found last September near an Overland Park hotel. She was in the city to attend a medical conference.

Police say Hodges and Brown had an off-and-on relationship. The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/16RJrLI ) Hodges told detectives that he strangled Brown during an argument inside her hotel room.