A man accused of killing a South Carolina doctor in the Kansas City area for a medical conference is now behind bars at the Johnson County Jail.
John Meredith Hodges was booked into the jail in Olathe on Wednesday night. He made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon.
He pleaded not guilty. Because he is considered a flight risk, his bond was set at $25 million.
Hodges was captured in Colombia and extradited back to the United States. Authorities said he fled after he killed his girlfriend, Franchesca D. Brown, 39. Brown was a pediatrician in Myrtle Beach, SC. She had come to Overland Park to Hawthorn Suites in the 11400 block of College Boulevard.
She was last seen Sept. 3 and her family reported her missing Sept. 9. Her body was found in a field near the hotel three days later.
Hodges has been charged with first-degree murder. He also faces charges related to credit card fraud and identity theft.
Her friends and co-workers are mourning Brown's death.
"She was easy to love, she talked to people on their level," said Jeanna Cheek of the Brunswick County Health Department. "She just never made anyone feel bad about who they were or where they were coming from."
Cyndi Simmons, also with the South Carolina agency, said Brown didn't have any biological children but had plenty of kids.
"She had tons of kids. She touched so many children here that it's just such a loss of life," Simmons said.
To read previous coverage including about Brown, click here.
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