Authorities discovered a body suspected to be that of Cristina Prodan, 27, who went missing from Edina, Minnesota on January 5. Her boyfriend, 25-year-old Joseph Porter, is being held in an Arkansas jail, where a mugshot shows apparent burn marks covering the man’s face.
Police arrested Porter on kidnapping charges connected to Prodan’s disappearance as investigators await DNA results to confirm the body’s identity.
Heavy spoke with a woman who also met Porter online, and said the man alleged to have been raped by a male roommate. It was later determined that Porter was actually married to a man, and authorities said his mother was told about a plan to “kidnap the victim” and “drain her bank accounts.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Porter is Suspected of Murdering Prodan & Burning Her Body
Prodan went missing from Edina, Minnesota on January 5, and Porter was arrested in Jacksonville, Arkansas on theft charges January 10. Records also show a “Fugitive” charge with a “Hold for Edina, Minnesota,” as well as a “Hold for US Marshal’s/FBI” which has a date of January 12 listed.
On January 9, police arrested Porter on kidnapping charges in connection with Prodan’s disappearance, and noted severe burns on the man’s face. The vehicle he was driving was stolen from a business in New Orleans, and authorities found the burned body of a female in the back of a shipping container about 2,000 feet away.
A criminal complaint stated Sprint learned of Prodan’s phone being turned on in Cabot, Arkansas. During a search for Porter, investigators located video of Porter and a man, later identified as Porter’s husband, at a Walmart in Cabot. Several phones had been pawned at a kiosk inside of the store, one of which was the victim’s cell phone.
Authorities later found Porter at his husband’s home. After a search warrant was executed, investigators found “multiple belongings” of the victim, according to the complaint, adding that several book bags and women’s underwear were also found inside of the home.
Investigators are awaiting DNA and dental record results to identify the body suspected to be Prodan.
According to a criminal complaint, on January 6, Porter’s mother told Edina police that her son told her about three weeks ago that he was going to “kidnap the victim, drain her bank accounts, empty her safe deposit box of the guns, and take her someplace where no one could find her again.”
The investigation continues, as DNA and dental record results which would confirm Prodan’s death, are still pending. No state murder charges have been filed.
According to Fox 9, the two began a relationship after meeting on Facebook about three months ago, and Porter moved from his home state of Arkansas to be with Prodan in Edina.
Not long after the couple started living together Porter allegedly became abusive, prompting Prodan to take out a restraining order against him.
Porter was subsequently sentenced to 90 days, however he had 80 days stayed and received credit for 10 days served after being booked for the arrest.
2. Prodan’s Mother Alleges 2 Police Officers Said Her Daughter Is Dead, & She Pleaded with Her to End the Relationship with Porter
Prodan’s mother, Livia Prodan, told WCCO that she believed it was her daughter’s intention to help Porter, which kept her going back to the man.
“She liked very much to help people, and very beautiful,” Livia told the station, adding that it was her daughter’s dream to get married.
However, the mother’s instinct kicked in and she begged the girl to leave Porter.
“Even if they’re saying, ‘I love you,’ they’re lying,” she told WCCO. “It’s not love from the heart, just from the lips, from the mouth.
“He took the life of my daughter, so young,” Prodan told the news outlet.
3. Another Woman Who Met Porter Online Said She Was Grateful ‘This Wasn’t Her’ & Said the Man Claimed He Was Raped & Abused by a Male ‘Roomate’
Heavy spoke with a woman who said she also met Porter online, and “wondered why he had been so quiet the last few months.”
Kayla Martin expressed being “terrified” after hearing the news about the man that she had an online relationship with. “It’s terrifying,” Martin told Heavy. “That could have been me. It’s like you don’t know who to trust anymore. Someone who is a close friend could be a harmful person. It goes to show the faces people put on everyday.”
While Martin said she had become close friends with Porter and that he had helped her through battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, he also showed signs of mental illness and even “rage.” She described him as a man who loved his mother and took care of her while she was sick, but who also fought demons. Martin told Heavy:
Joe helped me with my PTSD flashbacks and nightmares, video called with me all night…I just can’t believe he met another girl on Facebook and this happened, I’m unsure of how to react, really. He wanted to meet up with me, to hang out as friends but we never met in person. But, as a Facebook friend who called me everyday to make sure I was happy and okay, to make me laugh… I’m surprised to see such a story. He went quiet the past few months so I was wondering what was going on with him.
His mother was very sick. He used to carry her to bed. And back into living room…she had cancer I believe. He took good care of her. He would tell me I’m going to go fix cars for money to help mom with bills and such. He loved his mother.
But he had fits of rage where he wouldn’t talk to me and would get upset over little things. He used to get upset if I didn’t answer him back when I fell asleep some nights. He was an insomniac and at the time I was too. And we bonded over that. He would get upset if I stopped texting him even if it was only for a few minutes. And he would stop talking to me for days if I didn’t pay full attention to him. He used to call himself a robot…like he couldn’t feel or he ‘didn’t’ feel. I thought he was just being cute because he would say things like ‘boop beep’ and stuff afterwards.
It’s so terrible… like I was literally going to go over there and hang out one night and my car broke down. I lived in Missouri and he was only a couple of hours away. That night my car broke down and it could have like really saved my life…or saved me from harm that a car didn’t work. Life….it’s strange.
Martin added that Porter told her he had been a drug addict in the past, and said she couldn’t help but wonder if maybe he was heading down that path again. She added that Porter alleged to being raped by a male roommate.
“He put up with it to survive,” she stated. “Thought the roommate was a friend but ended up being an abusive rapist.”
After learning that Porter was actually married to a man and other details that have surfaced, Martin expressed shock and said she “didn’t know he was married to a man,” adding she “just knew he was in an abusive relationship with the guy he was living with.” “Must’ve been him, the husband that he was referring to,” she stated.
4. An Ex-Girlfriend Accused Him of Beating Her Unconscious & Killing Her Dog
This is not Porter’s first run-in with the law. Court record show that he has been convicted of charges which include burglary, property damage and second-degree battery in Arkansas.
In addition, WCCO reported that ” a girlfriend wrote that Porter ‘beat her unconscious…and killed her dog violently.'”
5. Several Law Enforcement Agencies Are Involved in the Case
Several law enforcement agencies are involved in the investigation of Prodan’s disappearance, including what involvement Porter may have had.
This is a developing story and updates will be made as information becomes available, check back for updates.