DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (CBS) –– Bucks County authorities are ready to pursue a murder case against a man in custody for kidnapping a woman who’s been missing for 3½ weeks. But it could be tough.

In this area, we’ve had our share of murder trials without benefit of body — those of Thomas Capano and Jay Smith, to name two — but it’s always a challenge, says Temple University law professor Edward Ohlbaum.

“What the Commonwealth has to prove in this case is not simply that there was a death, when you don’t have a body, but that the death was the result of murder,” Ohlbaum explains.

Diane Corado has been missing since December 19th when, police say, ex-boyfriend Kenneth Patterson burst into her Levittown apartment, hit her with a pipe, and abducted her and a roommate, who was released shortly thereafter (see related story).

Patterson’s blood-stained car was located that day, but there’s been no sign of Corado, and no help from Patterson since his arrest in New Jersey (see previous story), where he is now being held on $9 million bail.

Patterson has been charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, possession of an instrument of crime, false imprisonment and burglary. He has NOT been charged with homicide at this time.

Reported by John Ostapkovich, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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