Upon the discovery of Ponce’s remains the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office immediately commenced an investigation. They have been aided in the investigation by the Iowa State Patrol, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Muscatine Police Department, the Muscatine County Drug Task Force, the Coralville Police Department, the Iowa City Police Department, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Marion Police Department, and the Muscatine County Attorney’s Office.
During the evening hours of January 10, 2019, investigators arrested DOUGLAS JOSEPH FOSTER, 35, of Marion, Iowa as a material witness to the killing of Ponce.
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.
A copy of the complaint charging FOSTER as a material witness is available here.
FOSTER is being held in the Muscatine County Jail on a $50,000 cash-only bond.
The allegation that an individual is a material witness is not an allegation that the individual has committed a crime. As with any allegation made by a law enforcement officer or prosecutor, a person alleged to be a material witness has the right to a determination of the allegation’s merit in a court proceeding.
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