Eliza Fletcher abduction: Suspect Cleotha Abston swiped another woman’s wallet day before kidnapping
WARNING: This article contains information about a kidnapping that some people may find triggering or upsetting. Discretion is advised.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: Eliza Fletcher, a mother-of-two and an elementary school teacher, was abducted on September 2 by a man identified as Cleotha Abston. He was arrested by the authorities on September 5 and was given a $500,000 bond for the charges of "especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with or fabricating evidence". Now, he is being slapped with new charges in an unrelated incident regarding another woman's wallet.
New charges were found against the kidnapper of the 34-year-old teacher on Monday, September 5, from an incident that took place on Friday, September 1, just a day before Fletcher was abducted. A woman reported suspicious activity as her CashApp and Wisely Card were being used at gas stations without her knowledge or permission on Thursday. Abston was working for a cleaning service when he was caught on camera swiping the wallet, which the movie theater employee had left behind. The manager identified the person who took the wallet as Abston, reported by Fox 13.
The arrest affidavit shows Abston using the card at the gas stations that the woman told the police her cards were being used at. Investigators were able to retrieve footage of Abston using the card at these gas stations and it was revealed that he took $910.80 from her. The affidavit further states that he now faces charges of identity theft, theft of property $1,000 or less, and fraudulent use/illegal possession of credit/debit cards.
Cleotha Abston gets new charges
These new charges come right after a body was found on Monday evening, September 5, in the area that was restricted by law enforcement in Memphis. The body was found seven miles away from where Fletcher was abducted but the police still haven't identified the body yet. She was abducted by Abston as he aggressively ran toward Fletcher and forced her into the passenger side of the vehicle. Mario Abston, his brother, 36, was also arrested by law enforcement officials on Saturday, September 3, and was charged with possession of drugs and firearms.
Before this, he has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for abducting a Memphis lawyer, Kemper Durant, at gunpoint and placing him in the trunk of his car before forcing him to withdraw money from ATMs. The affidavit for Fletcher's abduction reads, "As the abduction was violent with, as captured on video, the suspect waiting for, then rushing towards the victim, then forcing the victim into the car, where she was confined and removed and continues to be missing, it is believed and supported by the facts and physical evidence that she suffered serious injury. Further, it is probable and apparent from witness statements that these injuries left evidence of blood in the car the defendant cleaned."