Eliza Fletcher In a west Tennessee courthouse on Wednesday morning, a man suspected of kidnapping and murdering a jogging Memphis teacher is scheduled to be arraigned.
The arraignment for Cleotha Abston, who is accused of killing 34-year-old Eliza “Liza” Fletcher after taking her hostage in Memphis early on Friday, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. CT.
Abston, who was detained over the weekend on the kidnapping charges, is now charged with first-degree murder when it was revealed that Fletcher’s body was discovered Monday close to a deserted Memphis duplex.
Following an aggressive search that was started by Fletcher’s abduction and supported by surveillance footage that, according to police, showed her being dragged into an SUV while out for a run early on Friday, Abston was apprehended Saturday close to his Memphis home. The neighbourhood has been shaken by word of her death.
In addition to being tragic in and of itself, losing someone so young and important in such a senseless act of violence is incomprehensible, according to Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy on Tuesday.
Authorities have described the teacher’s killing as brutal, but there are still unanswered questions regarding how, where, and why she was slain.
Mulroy told reporters on Tuesday that despite this, investigators “have no reason to suspect this was anything other than an isolated attack by a stranger.”
The community of Fletcher is grieving the death of the mother of two children and junior kindergarten teacher.
“We are grieved by this needless loss and inconsolable. Liza was such a delight to so many people, including her family, friends, coworkers, students, parents, and members of her congregation at Second Presbyterian Church “The sentence is made.
“It’s time to honour her memory, remember how unique she was, and show support for her loved ones. We are grateful for all the love and support we have received. We are eternally grateful to local, state, and federal law enforcement for their persistent efforts to locate Liza and bring the perpetrator of this terrible act to justice “The family of Fletcher said.
According to a Facebook post made by the school on Tuesday, the faculty and staff at St. Mary’s Episcopal School began the day in chapel by lighting candles in Fletcher’s honour.
The St. Mary’s Episcopal School released a statement saying, “We are devastated by the loss of our cherished teacher, colleague, and friend Liza Fletcher.
Joseph Orgill III, a billionaire in the hardware industry, passed away in 2018 at the age of 80. Fletcher was his granddaughter. According to the corporation, Orgill, situated in Tennessee, generates $3 billion in revenue annually.
On his initial allegations of particularly severe kidnapping and tampering with evidence, 38-year-old Abston was arraigned on Tuesday. On those allegations, he was being held in a county jail with a $510,000 bond.
He informed the court on Tuesday that he was without counsel and without the funds to post bond, and the judge ordered a public defender to represent him.
According to Mulroy, Abston will be arraigned on accusations of first-degree murder, premeditated murder, and murder while committing a kidnapping on Wednesday.
How the four-day search for the victim unfolded
Around four in the morning on Friday, Fletcher was out for a jog in a neighborhood close to the University of Memphis. In an affidavit that was initially filed on Sunday and later changed on Tuesday, authorities said that her husband informed police on Friday morning that she had not returned.
According to the affidavit, someone spotted her phone on a street that morning and brought it to a member of Fletcher’s family, who then provided it to detectives.
According to the affidavit, police later discovered security footage from that location showing a black GMC Terrain passing by her. According to the affidavit, a male can be seen in the video getting out of the SUV and “aggressively” approaching her before shoving her into the passenger seat.
The affidavit claims that the SUV lingered in a parking lot with both people inside for almost four minutes before driving away.
near the victim’s phone, at the scene of the kidnapping. According to the affidavit, DNA recovered on the shoes matched Abston’s DNA.
Investigators spoke with Abston’s employer, who confirmed his phone number and claimed to drive a GMC Terrain. According to the affidavit, investigators looked at Abston’s cell phone records, which revealed that he was in the area of the abduction scene at the time of Fletcher’s kidnapping.
The GMC Terrain was discovered by members of a US Marshals task force on Saturday morning close to Abston’s residence; it had the same easily identifiable damage as seen in the surveillance footage, and the licence plate matched the partial plate information deduced from the video, according to the affidavit.
According to the court statement, the task force seized Abston on Saturday close to his residence.
According to the affidavit, police received information from two witnesses, including Abston’s brother, who claim they saw him acting suspiciously at the brother’s Memphis home following the kidnapping.
Both said Abston cleaned the interior of the GMC Terrain with floor cleaner, and that he washed his clothes in the sink of the home, according to the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, searchers discovered Fletcher’s body on Monday shortly after 5 p.m. based on information from an FBI team that examines cell phone data.
The searchers concentrated their efforts on a region close to an intersection less than a mile from the brother’s house using the cell phone data. According to the complaint, the crew noticed car tracks in the grass close to a vacant residence, detected a decaying odor in the area, and eventually discovered a body on the property.
According to the affidavit, “the scene investigation found that the female fit the description of missing person, Eliza Fletcher.”
Authorities stated that the property was located in the 1600 block of Victor Street. This is roughly a half-mile drive from the address officials provided for the residence of his brother, 7.5 miles from the claimed abduction location, and 15.5 miles from Abston’s residence.
A investigator discovered a garbage bag with purple running shorts, which were similar to the ones Fletcher was wearing when she was taken, a little more than an hour after the corpse was discovered and about three tenths of a mile away, according to the affidavit.