Eliza Fletcher abduction timeline: From 4am jog to massive search, cops detain 'suspect' as clock ticks
At around 4:20 am, Fletcher was 'abducted and forced into a mid-sized, dark-colored SUV' while she was on a morning run near Central Avenue
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: Eliza Fletcher, a 34-year-old mother and kindergarten teacher from Memphis, who is known to her family as Liza, was abducted on Friday, September 2, 2022, while out for a morning run. Fletcher is an heiress to the billion-dollar fortune of her family’s hardware business called Orgill Inc. She was forced into a black SUV by a suspect.
Tennessee police "detained" a suspect and found the car they were looking for in connection with the abduction of the Memphis billionaire heiress who is still missing. The Memphis Police Department (MPD) is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts. Here is a timeline of the moments from her disappearance up till now.
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
September 2, Friday, 4.00 am
Around 4 am on Friday, Fletcher, a deeply committed runner who earned a spot in the Boston Marathon, went for a run.
Authorities claimed that she traveled along her usual route close to the University of Memphis. Around 4:20 in the morning, she was "abducted and forced into a mid-sized, dark-colored SUV" while running near Central Avenue. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation stated the woman is “5’6”, 137 lbs, with brown hair, and green eyes. She was wearing a pink jogging top and purple running shorts.
Here’s a photo of Liza as she was running this morning.— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) September 2, 2022
Liza is 34yo. She 5’6”, 137 lbs., w/brown hair & green eyes. She was wearing a pink jogging top & purple running shorts.
Can you help? Call MPD at 901-528-CASH (2274), 901-545- COPS (2677), or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. 3/3 pic.twitter.com/7w0tVRUula
September 2, Friday, 7.45 am
Memphis Police Department received two separate phone calls from Richard Fletcher III, Fletcher's husband, and the University of Memphis, reporting her missing after she failed to return from her run.
A few of Fletcher's personal belongings were discovered by the police on Central Avenue. They are also informed that after a struggle, a man approached Fletcher and forced her into a dark SUV. The car was later identified as a GMC Terrain by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
September 2, Friday afternoon
In a news briefing on Friday afternoon, the police officials stated that they were not aware of any link between Fletcher's kidnapping and reports from the beginning of the semester that someone had been intimidating members of the University of Memphis women's cross-country team as they ran nearby. The suspect in Fletcher's disappearance was male, according to investigators. A white Jeep Grand Wagoneer was later seized by authorities in front of Fletcher's house, according to FOX 13 Memphis.
September 2, Friday 10.25 pm
MPD said on Twitter "Due to the investigation of Eliza Fletcher, who is missing, please avoid the area of Central Avenue and Zach H. Curlin Street. Traffic is down to one lane in both directions. Please avoid the area if possible."
Due to the investigation of Eliza Fletcher, who is missing, please avoid the area of Central Avenue and Zach H. Curlin Street. Traffic is down to one lane in both directions. Please avoid the area if possible. pic.twitter.com/R7HfR8FC3s— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) September 2, 2022
September 4, Sunday, 2.39 am
MPD released a statement on Twitter with an update stating, "The vehicle of interest has been located and a male who was occupying the vehicle has been detained. Eliza Fletcher has not been located. This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH."
UPDATE: the vehicle of interest has been located and a male who was occupying the vehicle has been detained. Eliza Fletcher has not been located. This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information should call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) September 3, 2022
The abducted woman is said to be the granddaughter of late Joseph "Joe" Orgill III, a hardware magnate who owned Orgill Inc. He died in 2018. In early 2022, she went to see the Orgill trade show in Orlando, Florida. She shared about it on her Instagram page. After an investigation was launched into the abduction of the 34-year-old pre-kindergarten teacher at St Mary's Episcopal School, people who know her are praying for her. A friend of the woman named Hart Robinson told WREG, "You don’t wanna hear that that’s going on. We want to find her. We don’t know what’s going on, but everybody is desperately looking for her and the police here are on it. You can see there is a lot of activity, so if you know anything or saw anything early this morning, we just ask that you come forward."
A note from the head of school, Albert Throckmorton, stated, "In cooperation with local and state authorities, we are asking for your help locating our beloved JK Teacher Liza Fletcher. If you have seen Liza or have information about her location, call MPD at 901-528-CASH (2274), 901-545- COPS (2677), or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. For more information, follow the link below."