Marion man charged in Iowa roadside death of woman


    Douglas Foster, charged with first-degree murder. (Muscatine County Jail)

    A Marion man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a woman whose body was found last week on the side of an eastern Iowa highway.

    The Muscatine Journal reports 35-year-old Douglas Joseph Foster was charged Tuesday in the Jan. 8 death of 20-year-old Lea Ponce, of Fairfield. Foster was ordered held Wednesday on $3 million cash-only bond.

    Investigators say Ponce was last seen alive just after midnight Jan. 7 getting into a pickup truck Foster was believed to have been driving. Her body was found along Highway 38 less than an hour later. An autopsy report says she died of blunt force trauma and that her injuries were consistent with having been hit and dragged by a vehicle.

    Foster's preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 25.

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