Thirty-five-year-old Douglas Foster of Marion is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Lea Ponce of Fairfield. Investigators say Ponce was last seen January 8th getting into Foster’s pickup at a Walmart. Her body was located a short time later along Highway 38. An autopsy found Ponce died from injuries suffered after being hit and dragged by a vehicle.
The criminal complaint says Ponce stole a large amount of methamphetamine from a hotel room and the drug dealer offered a bounty to anyone who could find her. Prosecutors say Foster made two calls to that dealer just before authorities found Ponce’s body.
Ponce is scheduled to appear in court January 25th.