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Body Found in Search for ‘Beloved’ Mom of 2 Who Went Missing During Morning Jog | Suspect Has Been Arrested

Body Found in Search for ‘Beloved’ Mom of 2 Who Went Missing During Morning Jog | Suspect Has Been Arrested

"The identity of this person and the cause of death is unconfirmed at this time. The investigation is ongoing," said the post. 

A body was found in Tennessee on September 5, 2022, in the same area where Memphis teacher, Eliza Fletcher, went missing on September 2, 2022. 

The Memphis Police Department said a “deceased party” was discovered at about 5 pm, local time. "The identity of this person and the cause of death is unconfirmed at this time. The investigation is ongoing," added the post. 

Fletcher, a 34-year-old mother of two, went on a morning jog on September 2, just like she did every other day, but she didn't make it back home. Fletcher's husband, Richard Fletcher, reported her missing at around 7 am that day after she never got back home. The police revealed that she was last seen at Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street where she usually runs near the University of Memphis around 4:20 am, per New York Post.



 

 

According to surveillance footage shared by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, an unknown person approached her while she was running on Central Avenue in Memphis at 4:30 am, following which she was forced into a dark-colored SUV, per WREG.

"A male exited the black GMC Terrain, ran aggressively toward the victim, and then forced the victim Eliza Fletcher into the passenger's side of the vehicle. During this abduction, there appeared to be a struggle," stated the affidavit. 

Meanwhile, a bicyclist reported to police that he saw a pair of Champion slide sandals laying in the street while riding along Central Avenue on Friday at 6:45 am. This tip later led police to the suspect. Fletcher's phone was also found by the cyclist, abandoned on the street in the area she was last seen. 



 

 

Memphis Police department has arrested a suspect in connection with the disappearance of the missing teacher, per ABC. A surveillance video obtained by investigators shows Fletcher being forcefully taken by a man on her early-morning jog.

Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with exceptionally aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence in the case of the missing kindergarten teacher, the Memphis Police Department shared via Twitter. 

Police also believe that Fletcher was seriously injured during the kidnapping. However, Abston refused to provide any information about her location when questioned.



 

 

Fletcher is still missing, and the search for her is ongoing, with the help of regional and national colleagues. Police stated that they are still actively looking into her kidnapping. "Eliza Fletcher has not been located," the department tweeted. "This is an ongoing investigation."

Fletcher has been the focus of an extensive search, and her family has offered a $50,000 reward for information pointing to her whereabouts. According to The Daily Beast, as the granddaughter of Joseph Orgill III, she is the heiress of the Memphis-based hardware distributor Orgill Inc. Her family released a video through the Memphis PD vying for the community's support in finding her.

"We want to start by thanking everyone for their prayers and outpouring of support. Liza has touched the hearts of many people and it shows," Fletcher's uncle, Mike Keeney, said in the video. "More than anything, we want to see Liza returned home safely," Keeney said. "We believe someone knows what happened and can help."



 

Fletcher teaches junior kindergarten at St. Mary's Episcopal School in Memphis. She was described as a "beloved" teacher in a social media post by the school, asking people to help look for her. "We are asking for your help locating our beloved JK Teacher Liza Fletcher."

Fletcher was sporting a pink blouse and a pair of purple jogging shorts during the time she went missing. Anyone with any details that could help the police with Fletcher's location has been requested to reach out to the Memphis Police Department at either (901) 528-2274 or (901) 545-2677, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND. They may also call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.

References:

https://twitter.com/MEM_PoliceDept/status/1566943980222386176

https://abc7chicago.com/eliza-fletcher-cleotha-abston-memphis-missing-jogger/12196230/

https://nypost.com/2022/09/02/memphis-teacher-abducted-during-early-morning-jog/

https://wreg.com/news/local/midtown-woman-missing-after-early-morning-run/

https://www.thedailybeast.com/eliza-fletcher-a-teacher-and-a-billionaires-granddaughter-has-been-abducted

Cover Image Source: YouTube | ABC News

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