REPORT: Billionaire Heiress Still Missing After Suspect Is Charged With Abduction In Memphis

Photo by KRISTON JAE BETHEL/AFP via Getty Images)

Font Size:

Eliza Fletcher remains missing after she was abducted during an early-morning jog Friday near the University of Memphis, though police have arrested a suspect in her disappearance, according to reports.

Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence, according to a tweet from the Memphis Police posted Sunday morning. Abston has refused to provide investigators with information pertaining to the whereabouts of Fletcher, who is the granddaughter of billionaire Tennessee hardware tycoon Joseph “Joe” Orgill III, according to WREG News.

Fletcher, 34, was out jogging at about 4 a.m. Friday when a man exited a black GMC Terrain and “ran aggressively” toward her and forced her into the passenger side of the SUV, as shown in surveillance footage reviewed by CNN.  The Terrain remained parked in the same location for approximately four minutes before the suspect drove away. Records indicate the abduction “was violent in nature and may have resulted in serious bodily injury,” according to WREG news.

Cell phone records, as well as DNA evidence recovered from a pair of sandals found near the abduction site aided Memphis authorities in identifying and arresting Abston in connection with Fletcher’s disappearance, CNN noted.
A witness saw Abston at his brother’s home “behaving oddly” as he cleaned the interior of his SUV and washed his clothes in the sink following the abduction, the outlet reported.

At 16, Abston was charged with aggravated robbery and kidnapping of Memphis attorney Kemper Durand in May 2000, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Man Who Kidnapped 26 Children, Buried Them Alive, Receives Parole After 45 Years)

Fletcher’s family is offering $50,000 to anyone who comes forward with information that could help authorities find the mother of two. “We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help police capture those who committed this crime,” the family said in a statement, according to CNN.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is assisting Memphis police in the ongoing investigation.