Charges: Arkansas Man Choked, Burned Body of Edina Woman

June 19, 2018 04:57 PM

 The video file above is from Jan. 18.

An Arkansas man authorities say admitted to choking his girlfriend and then burning her body has been charged in Minnesota. 


According to a criminal complaint, 26-year-old Joseph Porter faces one count of second-degree murder. Porter has also been charged federally with kidnapping. 

The complaint said authorities were called on Jan. 5 to an Edina apartment on a welfare check. Police were familiar with the residence due to multiple calls of service. 

The caller said she had not heard from her daughter, who was identified in federal court records as Cristina Prodan, for a long amount of time.

RELATED: Arkansas Man Charged in Connection to Kidnapping of Edina Woman 

While at the apartment, officers learned Porter had started an online relationship with Prodan and moved to Edina from Arkansas. 

Officers were unable to locate or make contact with Prodan or Porter. When officers spoke over the phone with Porter's mother over the phone, she expressed concern for Prodan's safety. 

When officers ran the licenses plate number that belonged to Porter, they learned he had been pulled over two times within two days. 

According to the complaint, Porter was first pulled over on Jan. 4 in Greene County, Missouri. The complaint said the state trooper noticed a large suitcase and a brand new shovel and pickax. He was pulled over again on Jan. 4 in Evening Shade, Arkansas. The officer noted the same items in the back of the car at the time. 

On Jan. 8, a law enforcement officer in Lonoke County, Arkansas, located his vehicle parked by a boat ramp. The officer said Porter was sleeping in the vehicle and had burns to his face. Because the officer was unaware of any investigation, Porter was able to drive away. 

On Jan. 9, Prodan's cell phone pinged in Cabot, Arkansas. Authorities later learned her cell phone had been pawned at a Walmart in the area. Surveillance footage from the store showed Porter and his estranged husband inside of the store.

The complaint said Porter was located at his husband's residence, where he was arrested. 

Authorities later learned that on Jan. 6, the New Orleans Fire Department was called to a fire at a junkyard. After extinguishing the fire, firefighters located a badly burned body. The complaint said DNA testing confirmed it was Prodan's body.

The complaint said during a later interview, Porter admitted to getting into a fight with Prodan and Jan. 4. Porter said he choked Prodan until she was unconscious.

According to the complaint, he told officers once he realized she was dead, he stuffed her in a large suitcase and began driving. He told officers he eventually decided to burn the body, where he suffered burns himself. 

Porter is currently in federal custody. 


Ben Rodgers

Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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