Arrest in case of woman found dead on Muscatine area road

Douglas, Foster - Muscatine County Jail photo

MUSCATINE, Iowa - Muscatine County Attorney Alan Ostergren says a material witness had been arrested in the investigation of the death of Lea Ponce. 

The Muscatine woman was found dead on the shoulder of Highway 38 between Muscatine and Wilton in the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 8th.

35 year old Douglas Foster of Marion, Iowa has been arrested s a material witness to the killing, according to KWQC-TV 6.

Investigators say on the night of the 8th, Ponce was last seen at the Muscatine Walmart getting into a white GMC pick up truck, that is associated with Foster.

During their investigation, police tracked down Foster's truck in Marion near a storage facility. Police say they searched the facility and found some of Ponce's personal items inside. 

Officers say they soon found Foster hiding in the rafters of the building, he claims he was hiding because he was wanted on a warrant out of Texas. 

During questioning, police say Foster told them Ponce had been in his truck but wanted her to get out and she did, and he drove back to Marion. 

Under Iowa law a peace officer may take a material witness to a crime into custody when there is probable cause to believe the witness would not be available for the service of a subpoena to appear at a subsequent hearing or trial.

KWQC-TV reports Foster is being held in the County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.

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