The murder of Eliza Fletcher: Body was found by steps of abandoned house after cops smelled 'an odor of decay'
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE: Police confirmed on September 6, Tuesday, that the body found during the search of Eliza Fletcher was in fact of the missing jogger. The body was found seven miles away from where she was last seen just hours before her suspected killer Cleotha Abston's court appearance in Memphis on Tuesday. After the identification, Abston was slapped with additional charges.
The overtaking smell of a decaying body led the rescue team to the body of the 34-year-old elementary school teacher. According to the official affidavit obtained by the New York Post, "The officers noticed vehicle tracks in the grass … and the officers smelled an odor of decay." Soon after following the odor, they "located an unresponsive female lying on the ground." The document further read, "The scene investigation revealed that the female fit the description of missing person, Eliza Fletcher." Right after the discovery they also found a trash bag that "contained purple Lululemon running shorts that were consisted [sic] with the ones Eliza Fletcher was last seen wearing," and the same ones that were in the image shared by the family. Check out the photos of the house that were obtained by here.
Her body was found near the area where Abston was seen cleaning his GMC Terrain as seen in surveillance footage of Fletcher’s violent abduction. As of now, the officials have not identified the cause of death right now. Fletcher was found lying by the steps of a run-down one-story property only yards from where police last spotted the vehicle she was forced into. The dirty staircase also had a bloodstain at the bottom of it. Memphis Police Department wrote on Twitter, "The deceased victim that was located yesterday in the 1600 block of Victor has been identified as 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher. Additional charges for 38-year-old Cleotha Abston have been added for First Degree Murder and First Degree Murder in Perpetration of Kidnapping."
Eliza Fletcher's body found after officials followed odor of decay
Cleotha Abston had kidnapped Fletcher while she was out for a jog around 4.30 am on Friday, September 2. This sparked a four-day long hunt which led officers to several wooded areas across Memphis. The deceased was found just a hundred yards from the Longview Gardens apartment complex, which is where Abston's brother, Mario, lives. He himself has a criminal record as he was arrested by the police during a raid for possession of drugs and firearms.
Barbara, a fellow neighbor who lives three houses away from where the body was found, revealed that the house had been abandoned for almost a decade after the last mover left the place following a burglary. She told Daily Mail, "Things are getting real bad around here, worse than I’ve ever seen. Before, you did not have people getting killed here, or see people running from police through my yard. It’s just bad. I’m afraid to sit on my porch these days. I hate that they brought it to this neighborhood. It was a big dummy whoever put her body back there." She explained how the neighbor is currently at its worst right now and that the officials may have found the body sooner if the place wasn’t overgrown with weeds and shrubbery. "You can’t see nothing without the bushes and weeds. This city don’t care about this neighborhood," she said.