SC doctor in Overland Park for medical conference killed - KCTV5 News

South Carolina doctor in Overland Park for medical conference killed

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© Star News Online-North Carolina © Star News Online-North Carolina

Authorities are extraditing from Colombia a man accused of killing a South Carolina doctor who was in the Kansas City area attending a medical conference.

The woman was last seen on Sept. 3. Her family reported her missing Sept. 9 when she didn't return from Kansas City. Her body was found in a field on Sept. 12.

John Meredith Hodges has been charged with first-degree murder. He also faces charges related to credit card fraud and identity theft.

Hodges is in his 40s. His driver's license lists him as being from Virginia, but authorities aren't completely sure of that.

Franchesca D. Brown, 39, was a pediatrician in Myrtle Beach, SC. She had come to Overland Park to Hawthorn Suites in the 11400 block of College Boulevard.

Hodges was her on-again, off-again boyfriend and the doctor invited him to come to the area with her, authorities said.

Her family reported her missing.

Overland Park Police Chief John Douglass and Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe discussed the crime during a news conference Monday afternoon.

The two men said the crime wasn't made public initially because Hodges had fled the country and his possible itinerary included countries in which the United States does not have extradition agreements with. The U.S. has a good relationship with Colombia and once he was inside that country, a move was made to detain him.

Howe said the family understand authorities concerns about making sure they were able to get Hodges extradited and wanted justice served.

A sealed criminal complaint was filed against Hodges, Howe said.

Authorities did not say how Brown died or provide a motive. They said more details would become public after Hodges' first court appearance.

A Star News Online article in 2007 described Brown as a popular doctor beloved by children who had a good rapport with patients. She was the pediatrician for the Brunswick County Health Department at the time and was described as having a gentle, friendly bedside manner. 

"She is phenomenal. We can't say enough about her," gushed her nurse, Jeanna Condron.

Brown joined the Air Force to get a scholarship for medical school. She served in the Air Force for nine years and graduated from Duke University. Her focus as a physician were on under-served patients with a focus on lowering costs.

"It's something I've always wanted to do, to work with kids," Brown told the North Carolina news outlet.

At-risk pre-teens, combating obesity and getting kids immunized were priorities for her.

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