The body of Tennessee teacher, Eliza Fletcher, has been found in South Memphis after a search spanned multiple days. Officers discovered the body at about 5. p.m., in a residential area roughly five miles from the University of Memphis campus, where the mom-of-two/St. Mary’s Episcopal School teacher was abducted.
The identification comes following the arrest of Cleotha Abston, who has been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping in connection to Fletcher’s disappearance.
As per the Memphis Police Department, the 38-Year-Old will also face additional charges of first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping. Notably, Abston’s arrest came after the Police alleged DNA found on a pair of Champion brand slides was linked to him.
They also reviewed surveillance footage from a nearby Earthquake Research and Information Center, which showed a black GMC Terrain passing by and then waiting for Fletcher.
The affidavit read: “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.” Police added the SUV was parked for about four minutes before the vehicle drove away. They strongly believe Fletcher suffered severe injury.
Upon his arrest, a woman interviewed by police said she saw Abston outside the home of his brother Mario Abston.
The anonymous woman told investigators that Cleotha didn’t live there but saw him cleaning the interior of the GMC Terrain with a floor cleaner and stated he was behaving oddly. Abston’s brother Mario has also been arrested on unrelated drug charges but isn’t charged concerning Fletcher’s disappearance. Fletcher is the granddaughter of the late Joseph Orgill III, a noted philanthropist who helped run the family-owned Memphis-based hardware supply firm Orgill Inc.