Suspect charged with murder after body of Tennessee teacher abducted while jogging is identified Eliza Fletcher

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Eliza Fletcher Police announced on Tuesday morning that they had located the body of a Tennessee teacher who was allegedly kidnapped while out on a run on Monday.

Eliza Fletcher “Liza” Fletcher, 34, whose body was discovered in South Memphis and confirmed by Memphis police as having been abducted on Friday, was found dead, according to the police.

The 38-year-old Cleotha Abston was detained after being initially accused of exceptionally aggravated kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Fletcher. The identification follows her detention. The Memphis Police Department said Tuesday that Abston is now charged with first-degree murder and first-degree murder in connection with a kidnapping.

After the Memphis Police Department said that DNA discovered on a pair of Champion brand slides discovered in the street linked him to her, Abston was arrested on Sunday.

Eliza Fletcher

What’s the latest in the Eliza Fletcher case?

On Monday, police reported that they had discovered a body close to the scene of Fletcher’s disappearance. Police revealed that the body belonged to Fletcher on Tuesday.

About five miles from the University of Memphis campus, where Fletcher was taken, officers located the body in a residential neighbourhood at around five o’clock in the afternoon.

Who is Eliza Fletcher?

Following Fletcher’s kidnapping last week, local, state, and federal authorities launched a massive search.

Fletcher taught at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis while raising her two children.

She was also the great-granddaughter of the late Joseph Orgill III, a well-known philanthropist who assisted in running the privately held hardware supply company Orgill Inc. in Memphis.

When did Fletcher disappear?

Eliza Fletcher’s cellphone and a pair of Champion brand slides were discovered in the street by a cyclist who was travelling the same route as the woman’s husband, Richard Fletcher, who called the police on Friday after his wife hadn’t returned from her run by 7 a.m.

What led to Abston’s arrest?

U.S. Marshals discovered the car parked at the location where it was said to have been on Thursday. In addition to identifying the vehicle based on the licence plate, surveillance video revealed “noticeable damage” to the vehicle’s rear passenger-side taillight, which was also apparent to Marshals at the apartment building.

Abston allegedly attempted to flee when law enforcement officers tried to arrest him while he was in the Terrain, but he was ultimately apprehended.

Police spoke with another woman, who claimed to have seen Abston outside of Mario Abston’s house. She admitted to the police that Cleotha Abston did not reside there, but “she noticed Cleotha Abston using floor cleaner to clean the interior of the GMC Terrain and indicated that he was acting abnormally.”

Investigators were informed by the woman and Abston’s brother that they had both saw Abston washing his clothing in the home’s sink.

Mario Abston was also detained on Sunday for alleged narcotics offences tied to Fletcher’s abduction, although he has not yet been prosecuted. He is not thought to be connected to Fletcher’s kidnapping, according to the police.

Who is Cleotha Abston?

The slides were given to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for DNA testing, and it was later discovered that Abston’s DNA matched samples from a prior conviction in a large national database.

In November 2020, Abston was freed from prison after spending two decades for kidnapping. He abducted a Memphis attorney who had previously worked for the Innocence Project in that incident. In one case, Abston received a 24-year sentence.

The slides were given to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for DNA testing, and it was later discovered that Abston’s DNA matched samples from a prior conviction in a large national database.

In November 2020, Abston was freed from prison after spending two decades for kidnapping. He abducted a Memphis attorney who had previously worked for the Innocence Project in that incident. In one case, Abston received a 24-year sentence.

When police questioned Abston’s employer, Majesty’s Cleaning Service, she confirmed he was a Terrain driver and gave police his cellphone number. By using that number, it was possible to pinpoint Abston’s location and confirm that he was nearby when Fletcher was kidnapped.

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