A billionaire heiress named Eliza Fletcher went missing after going on a job in Tennessee last week. On Sunday, a man was charged in connection with this alleged abduction.
Fletcher left to jog at around 4:30 am on Friday on Central Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee. Her husband, Richard Fletcher III, reported his wife missing at around 7:45 am the same day. He told police that she went for a usual early morning job but never returned home.
Eliza, a 34-year-old mother of two, was forced into a dark-colored SUV, according to the Bureau of Investigation in Tennessee. Someone who passed by found Fletcher’s cellphone and sandals, so investigators analyzed surveillance video from near the incident. According to CBS News, the video revealed a black SUV with damage to the rear tail light. A man exited the truck and ran towards Fletcher, he forced her into the passenger side of the vehicle and then drove away four minutes later.
Police said, “As the abduction was violent with, as captured on video, the suspect waiting for, then rushing toward the victim, then forcing the victim into the vehicle, where she was confined and removed and continues to be missing, it is believed and supported by the facts and physical evidence that she suffered a serious injury. Further, it is probable and apparent from witness statements that these injuries left evidence, e.g. blood, in the vehicle that the defendant cleaned.”
There was DNA from the alleged attacker on the sandals that were found and U.S. Marshals matched it to 38-year-old Cleotha Abston. Then they located an SUV with the same body damage as in the video.
U.S. Marshals took Abston into custody on Saturday and the Memphis police charged him with aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence on Sunday.
The police also interviews a woman with whom Abston was staying. She said that he was cleaning the floor of the SUV the previous morning, according to the affidavit from the police. The woman and another witness said that they saw Abston washing his clothes in a sink and they said he was acting very “strangely.”
The police in Memphis told Fox News that Abston had previously been charged with aggravated robbery and kidnapping in May of 2000. That case involved prominent Memphis attorney Kemper Durand. Abston was 16 years old at that time.
Eliza Fletcher, a kindergarten teacher, has yet to be found. Police said that the investigation is “active and ongoing.”
“We continue to ask for assistance from the community,” the Memphis Police Department said. “If anyone has any information concerning this investigation, they should call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.”
Fletcher is 5’6” and 137 pounds, according to police. She has brown hair and green eyes. When the abduction took place, Fletcher was wearing a pink jogging top and purple running shorts.
This woman is the granddaughter of the late Joseph “Joe” Orgill III. He was a billionaire that sold hardware out of Memphis. Eliza’s family has offered a $50,000 reward for information regarding her disappearance.
A plea was given by Eliza’s uncle, Mike Keeney. He asked the public for their help in finding his niece.
Keeney said in a video posted online, “Liza has touched the hearts of many people, and it shows. We want to thank the Memphis Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, TBI, FBI, and all of the other law enforcement agencies who are working tirelessly to find Liza. The family has met with police and we have shared with them all the information we know.”
Keeney had Eliza’s parents and her husband by his side in the video. Richard Fletcher III became emotional as he asked for assistance in locating his missing wife.