Man arrested in connection to Muscatine woman’s death

MARION, Iowa -- Police arrested a man after investigating the death of a Muscatine woman, which led officers to a storage facility in Marion.

Douglas Joseph Foster, 35, of Marion, was arrested on Jan. 10 after officers found him hiding in the rafters of a facility at 4857 10th Avenue, according to an official complaint from Muscatine County. The arrest is in connection to the death of a Muscatine woman, whose body was found Jan. 8.

Read: Police identify body of woman found along Highway 38 outside Muscatine

The police investigation discovered that Lea Ponce, now dead, was last seen getting into a white GMC truck in the Muscatine Walmart, according to the complaint. The truck was associated with Foster. It was later found at the storage facility. Police entered the facility and found Foster in a hiding space in the attic.

The report states Foster told police he had picked up Ponce at Walmart, but he had let her out later after she insisted. He told police he was hiding because he had an outstanding warrant in another state.

Police found Foster is wanted on a felony warrant in Texas.

Foster was arrested as a material witness, according to the complaint.

The charge of a "material witness" is not an allegation that Foster committed a crime, Muscatine County Attorney Alan R. Ostergren said.