In 2012, Franchesca Brown was a 39-year-old pediatrician living in Myrtle Beach, SC. She had a reputation for being an especially skilled and compassionate doctor in her field. She grew up in the Myrtle Beach area and had been valedictorian of her class at Myrtle Beach High School. After high school, Brown joined the air force where she served for 9 years before attending Duke Medical School and beginning her medical career. She hoped to help underprivileged children and children struggling with obesity.
One of Franchesca’s classmate’s said, “She basically was the ideal person in this community.”
Busy with her job, Brown decided to join a dating website in order to look for love. She joined MillionaireMatch.com. On the website, Brown met 44-year-old John Meredith Hodges. Hodges was a recently married father of four. He had no criminal record. His wife, who did not know he was dating, called him a “great man”. Contrary to the website’s name, Hodges was no millionaire. He had recently declared bankruptcy where he disclosed he was a million dollars in debt.
The two met once and then made plans to travel to a medical conference Brown was attending in Overland Park, KS. Brown didn’t tell her friends she was on millionairematch.com and she didn’t tell them about Hodges. No one in Brown’s life knew who Hodges was or that she had planned to go on a trip with him.
On September 3, Brown and Hodges attended an event at the medical conference together. On Sept. 8, when she had not returned as planned from the conference, Franchesca Brown’s mother reported her missing. While investigating, police discovered no one had seen or heard from her since Sept. 3. On Sept. 12, her body was found inside a tarp in a secluded area near her hotel in Overland Park.
Police found evidence that Hodges had searched for information about how to kill someone by strangulation. He also searched for articles about how to get rid of a body, how to mask the odor of human body decay, and “how long” it takes to choke someone to death. After murdering Brown, Hodges used her credit cards. He sent $10,000 of Brown’s money to his ex-wife for back child support. He was arrested in South America, where he fled after leaving Kansas.
John Meredith Hodges was charged with first-degree murder for the death of Franchesca Brown. Unfortunately, he committed suicide in jail and was never convicted.