Preliminary hearing begins in pediatrician's death near OP hotel - KCTV5 News

Preliminary hearing begins in pediatrician's death near Overland Park hotel

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OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

A man accused of killing a South Carolina doctor in the Kansas City area for a medical conference appeared in court Monday for a preliminary hearing on a charge of first-degree murder.

Franchesca D. Brown, 39, was a pediatrician in Myrtle Beach and 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.

John Meredith Hodges, 45, appeared in Johnson County District Court on Monday for a preliminary hearing in Brown's death. Hodges tried to waive the hearing.

Police say Hodges fled to South America after he allegedly killed Brown, but they were eventually captured him in the nation of Colombia.

Kendria Dickens-Carr, a friend of Brown, testified Monday that Brown met Hodges on a millionaire matchmaking site, MillionaireMatch.com.  She said they only met in person once before Brown started dating someone else.

Two years later, a friend said Hodges called Brown wanting to rekindle their romance.

"He had just called her again out of the blue.  (He) wanted to start a relationship.  He told her that he loved her," Dickens-Carr said.

She also testified Brown told her, in a text message, that Hodges had come to visit her at her hotel in Overland Park and that everyone was fine.  She didn't hear from her after that.

Brown's sister, Carla Brown, also took the stand Monday.  She said her sister was excited about the new relationship and was planning for Hodges to move in with her.  She said her sister wanted to bring him to the family's Thanksgiving dinner.

Hodges is also charged with using Brown's credit cards after her death.  The preliminary hearing will continue Tuesday.

He is being held in the county jail on a $25 million bond. 

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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