Memphis Police confirmed Tuesday a body found dumped in the city is that of Eliza Fletcher, a 34-year-old mother and kindergarten teacher who was abducted Friday morning while on her routine run.
“The deceased victim that was located yesterday in the 1600 block of Victor has been identified as 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher,” Memphis Police tweeted Tuesday.
— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) September 6, 2022
Authorities have charged 38-year-old Cleotha Abston with first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping. Abston had already been charged with aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence. (RELATED: Child Claims She Was Abducted By Ice Cream Truck Driver In Staten Island)
Police had been searching for Fletcher, the granddaughter of billionaire Tennessee hardware tycoon Joseph Orgill III, since Friday morning after she was kidnapped. Surveillance footage obtained by CNN showed a man jump out of his black GMC Terrain and force Fletcher into his car. The abduction was “violent in nature and may have resulted in serious bodily injury,” WREG News reported. CNN reported Abston “ran aggressively” toward Fletcher before forcing her into the vehicle.
DNA samples taken from a pair of sandals found near the spot where Fletcher was kidnapped indicated Abston’s involvement, CNN reported. A witness reportedly also saw Abston cleaning his SUV and washing his clothes shortly after the abduction.
Abton was previously charged in 2000 with aggravated robbery for kidnapping Memphis attorney Kemper Durand, Fox News reported.