Skip to main content

Charges: Arkansas man killed Edina woman, burned her body in New Orleans

The Arkansas man is a native of Delano, Minnesota.

An Arkansas man has been charged in the murder of an Edina woman.

A criminal complaint states that 26-year-old Joseph S. Porter, whose current address is in Delano, Minnesota, choked Cristina Prodan to death, stuffed her body in a suitcase, and then burned her in a junkyard in Louisiana. 

Prodan is said to have met Porter online, with Porter moving to Edina from Arkansas and to live with her in the fall of 2017. 

Between October and December last year, police received calls to the home on reports of verbal disputes, allegations of domestic assault, and interference with a 911 call. 

Porter was issued no-contact order against Prodan, which he violated in December 2017. 

On Jan. 5, 2018, Prodan's mother asked police to make a welfare check at the home, but no-one was there, and they were unable to reach the victim or Porter by phone. 

An investigation found that Porter had driven from Minnesota to Louisiana, and along the way was stopped by a state trooper in Missouri who was unaware police were looking for him.

In the backseat of Porter's car was large suitcases, a pickaxe and shovel, which he said he needed for work, with Porter later admitting he had choked Prodan to death, put her body inside a suitcase and was taking her to New Orleans. 

Today's Top Stories

2 years after blaze destroys Melrose church, police arrest teenager

Budget cuts mean extensive job cuts in St. Paul schools

Frustrated fairgoer creates interactive map for new foods and people love it

While driving south, Porter was pulled over a second time in Arkansas but again allowed to resume traveling. Three days later, on Jan. 8, an Arkansas police officer found Porter sleeping in a different car, which turned out to be stolen.

The officer noted that Porter had burns to his face, which he blamed on car trouble. Again, the officer was not aware of an investigation into Porter, so he was allowed to go. 

The next day, a ping to Prodan's cell phone popped up at a Walmart in Arkansas. Surveillance footage showed that the ping came from Porter, who was at the store with his estranged husband. 

Porter was later arrested at his husband's home. 

Prodan's body was found by the New Orleans Fire Department after responding to a fire in a shipping container at a junkyard, with Porter's 1995 Honda Accord located a short distance from the scene. 

Porter admitted to killing Prodan, saying he burned himself when he tried to dispose of her body. 

Porter is in federal custody and facing 2nd degree murder charges in Hennepin County. 

Next Up


Charges: Oakdale man set house on fire, killing 5 cats

Joshua Buhl reportedly set the fire to "get law enforcement's attention," a complaint states.


Arrest made after fire inside Uptown Target

Police were called to the store on a report of someone breaking in.

Ariyah Lewis

Missing 10-year-old girl last seen Jan. 20 in St. Paul

Ariyah Lewis was last seen on January 20 near the 1200 block of 7th Street in St. Paul.

West St Paul location

Erbert & Gerbert's opens new Minnesota location, with 7 more to follow

The sandwich chain has opened its doors in West St. Paul.

Screen Shot 2023-01-24 at 12.58.58 PM

Gov. Tim Walz budget plan calls for direct payments; tax cuts for seniors

Today's announcement completes a phased rollout of the budget proposal.

fsbc2022_chillstate_pineappleexpress_1610 (1)

Minnesota's first-of-its-kind THC drink distribution center opens

The distribution center is run by Fair State Brewing.

Screen Shot 2023-01-24 at 11.01.07 AM

South Minneapolis' Eat Street Crossing announces final restaurant concept

The upcoming food hall is taking over a historic building in the Whittier neighborhood.


Court order halts demolition of historic St. Paul building

The Justus Ramsey House is listed on multiple historic registries.

St. Cloud Times

Last remaining St. Cloud Times reporter leaving for new Forum rival

The St. Cloud Times has been decimated by reporter departures and cuts by parent company Gannett.

Screen Shot 2023-01-23 at 2.03.44 PM

Developer plans Anoka grocery store with unnamed tenant

The north metro is set to gain a massive new grocery store.


Sheldon Thompson

Minnesota man charged with killing pregnant woman and her son

The woman was 13 weeks pregnant, according to a medical examiner's report.

Evonne Sharkey

Woman charged in strangulation murder of St. Paul man

The woman told investigators that she was fighting off the man.

Alexis Saborit

Charges: Woman killed in horrific Shakopee attack was trying to leave suspect

The shocking incident happened at an intersection Wednesday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2019-10-07 at 8.53.27 AM

Charges: Father, daughter married shortly after killing Minnesota man

The Minnesota man's remains were discovered in September.

Ochea Brown

Charges: Man killed mom-of-two by hitting, dragging her with car

The incident happened in Minneapolis in the early hours of May 29.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

Warrant out for Edina man accused of killing mother with fentanyl

Charges say fentanyl was found in her system, without explanation.

Governor Tim Walz

Charge: Man threatened to burn Gov. Walz in body storage warehouse

The 51-year-old Blaine man has been charged with making threats of violence, a felony.