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Tennessee Teacher Eliza Fletcher’s Body Has Been Found Days After Abduction

Tennessee Teacher Eliza Fletcher’s Body Has Been Found Days After Her Abduction

Tragedy has struck a Tennessee teacher.

Eliza Fletcher was out for a jog Friday morning around 4:20 a.m. near the University of Memphis at the intersection of Central Avenue and Zach H. Curlin Street, when a dark-colored GMC Terrain pulled up next to her. A man then exited the SUV and “ran aggressively toward the victim, and then forced the victim Eliza Fletcher into the passenger’s side of the vehicle,” according to a police affidavit. The document noted “there appeared to be a struggle,” and the vehicle remained in place for around four minutes after the abduction before taking off.


Following an investigation into the event, Memphis Police Department discovered a pair of “Champion slide sandals” and Fletcher’s cell phone on a street near the location of the disappearance. DNA testing was conducted on the sandals which resulted in a match with Cleotha Abston, a man who was believed to be cleaning a GMC Terrain within walking distance just a few hours before the abduction, according to police. The 38-year-old was then arrested and initially charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence. However, a Monday morning confirmation has changed everything about the case: A deceased body found Sunday approximately seven miles from the abduction site has been confirmed as Eliza’s.

Related: Footage Shows The Moment Kiely Rodni’s Body Was Found

Memphis police took to Twitter early Monday morning to reveal the shocking news:

“The deceased victim that was located yesterday in the 1600 block of Victor has been identified as 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher.”

Absolutely heartbreaking. The tweet continued:

“Additional charges for 38-year-old Cleotha Abston have been added for First Degree Murder and First Degree Murder in Preparation of Kidnapping.”

See the full tweet (below):

An official cause of death has not yet been announced for the mother, but Abston is being held without bond and will appear in court Tuesday. He reportedly has not entered a plea and does not have an attorney at the time. According to WREG, which cites Shelby County court records, Abston has previously pleaded guilty to a 2000 especially aggravated kidnapping charge where he was sentenced to 24 years in prison, but was let out in November of 2020.

Related: 14-Year-Old Boy Arrested For Murder Of His 10-Year-Old Stepsister

How sad this man was given a second chance at life and ended up doing the exact same thing again, and actually took it a step further by allegedly committing murder.

Eliza was a wife, mother of two, and a teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School. She regularly jogged in the area she was abducted from. She was also the granddaughter of the late billionaire Joseph “Joe” Orgil III, a local Memphis hardware businessman.

Rest in peace, Eliza.

[Images via (c) Memphis Police Department & NBC News/YouTube]

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Sep 06, 2022 11:13am PDT