Boyfriend linked to death of missing MN woman

EDINA, Minn. – Investigators in Arkansas say an Edina woman listed as missing is dead, and her boyfriend, who she met on the internet, is responsible.

Documents filed by the state police in Little Rock, Arkansas indicate while Joseph Porter is officially charged with possessing a stolen vehicle, he is also implicated in the murder of 27-year-old Minnesota resident Cristina Prodan. Prodan was reported missing from her Edina condominium January 5 by her mother.

CRISTINA PRODAN: Missing from Edina, MN – 5 Jan 2018 – Age 27 https://t.co/13BvDE4GXf pic.twitter.com/VCzk2uUQpk

— CRIMEWATCHERS (@Kimster_CW) January 17, 2018

Documents in Pulaski County Circuit Court detail how the couple met on Facebook, and Porter soon moved to Edina to live with with Prodan to embark on what can only be described as a violent relationship. Edina Police were called to the couple’s residence a number of times on domestic violence reports, including one where Prodan says Porter raped her. She filed an order of protection, which Porter broke, and the two resumed their relationship before Prodan disappeared. Porter’s whereabouts were also unknown.

Investigators contacted Porter’s mother, Arlie Porter, who reportedly told them that in December her son had said he was going to kidnap Cristina, drain her bank accounts and empty her safe deposit box, and take her where no one would ever find her.

The case apparently began to turn when investigators located a residence in Jacksonville, Arkansas owned by Richard Crawford, the legal husband of Joseph Porter. Federal agents went to the trailer January 10, and found Porter suffering from serious burns to his face, hands and body. Both Porter and Crawford were detained for questioning and a warrant was obtained to search their residence. Inside investigators found numerous personal items belonging to Cristina Prodan.

During questioning Crawford reportedly told detectives that Porter confided he and Cristina had gotten into a heated argument and that she was not alive when they left Minnesota. Crawford said Porter had driven to New Orleans, where he doused Cristina’s body with gasoline and set her on fire. It was while doing this that Porter reportedly burned his hands and face.

Investigators subsequently learned that police in New Orleans had recovered a burned body on January 6. The body was found just a quarter mile from where a vehicle that Porter was in possession of was stolen.

Joseph Porter is being held with no bail in Pulaski County, Arkansas, but no official murder charges have yet been filed in Cristina Prodan’s death.

© 2018 KARE-TV

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