Burned body of Minnesota woman found in New Orleans; boyfriend with facial burns charged with kidnapping

A Minnesota woman who vanished earlier this month was reportedly abducted and killed by her boyfriend -- who then allegedly drove her body to New Orleans and burned it in a shipping container.

Federal prosecutors on Friday charged Joseph Porter, 25, with kidnapping the woman, Cristina Prodan 27, whose burned body was found Jan 6, the day after her mother reported her missing in Edina, where she lived.

Porter had noticeable burns on his face that could be seen in his mug shot when he was arrested in Arkansas Jan. 10 on a theft charge.

The Minnesota Star Tribune reported the federal complaint says Porter's husband, Richard Crawford, of Little Rock, Ark., told investigators Porter admitted to killing Prodan somewhere in Minnesota and taking her body to New Orleans where he burned it.

Porter has not been charged with murder in connection with Prodan's death. His attorney in Little Rock declined to comment.


The arrest warrant in the theft case quoted Porter’s mother as saying he told her in December “he was going to kidnap the victim, drain her bank accounts, empty her safe deposit box of the guns, and take her some place where no one could find her again,” FOX9 Minneapolis reported Friday.

Before authorities announced finding the body, Prodan’s mother told the station last Monday she was holding out hope her daughter would be found alive.

“The deputies told me that they are looking for the body, but I don’t know if they find it or not,” Livia Prodan, of Richfield, Minn., said.

Her daughter and Porter began living together after meeting through Facebook in October.

In early December, Porter allegedly became abusive and was the subject of a court order barring him from having contact with Prodan, the station reported.

Records show on Dec. 28, Porter pleaded guilty to violating the order and was sentenced to time served.

Soon after that, Prodan reportedly took him back only to disappear days later.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.