Where is Eliza Fletcher? Abducted billionaire heiress' body found in Memphis after 4-day search
Cleotha Abston, 38, is charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence following Fletcher's abduction
WARNING: This article contains information about a kidnapping that some people may find triggering or upsetting. Discretion is advised.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: In the latest development of the case, the Memphis police have arrested a man in connection with the disappearance of the mother of two, Eliza Fetcher who was last seen at approximately 4.30 am Friday, Sept 2 on Central Avenue in midtown Memphis. It has been three days since Fletcher got abducted but the police have failed to locate the Memphis school teacher who taught pre-kindergartners. And it seems like the investigation of the police is going to take a little longer as the suspect has refused to disclose her location.
Cleotha Abston, 38 is charged with "Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence" following Fletcher's mysterious disappearance. The officials arrested him on Saturday, Sept 3, after they located the vehicle in question. The suspect is currently in police custody and is being interrogated by the officials. However, he has been hostile and refusing to answer questions. During the interrogation, police asked him about Fletcher’s location but Abston clearly declined, according to an affidavit.
"Eliza Fletcher has not been located at this time. MPD Investigators and officers, along with our local and federal partners, continue searching for Mrs. Fletcher," the Memphis police department said in a post. Abston was located by US Marshals, who located the GMC Terrain in a parking lot near Abston's residence. He is being held at the Shelby County Jail on a $500,000 bond, jail records show. It is unclear whether Abston has an attorney. His next court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.
Have you seen this woman or vehicle?— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) September 2, 2022
Eliza Fletcher was abducted this morning in midtown Memphis while running.
She was forced into a vehicle. There is no known direction of travel.
Tips? Call @MEM_PoliceDept at 901-528-2274 or 901-545-2677, or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/HpTfQbKjAy
The affidavit revealed that one Miles Fortas was riding his bike around the area where the kidnapping took place when he found a broken cell phone and a pair of Champion slide sandals, which he handed over to the police. “DNA found on the shoes matched DNA for Cleotha Abston”, and it was already in the police database, the affidavit said.
Supporting the DNA report, the investigators found footage captured from a local theater the day before Fletcher's disappearance, in which Abston was seen wearing the same slides that officials discovered. According to the affidavit, a witness said she saw Abston at his brother's house after the abduction. Both the witness and his brother said Abston was behaving oddly as he cleaned the interior of his SUV and washed his clothes in the sink. The officials have also arrested Cleotha’s brother Mario but he is charged with drug dealing.
As per the report by authorities, Fletcher, a deeply committed runner was out on a usual run near the University of Memphis when she was approached by an unknown man who pushed her into his vehicle. Fletcher is described as a White woman with blonde hair and green eyes. She is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall, and weighs around 137 pounds. The family of the missing teacher has announced a reward of $50,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case.
This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH."