Police believe missing Eliza Fletcher ‘suffered serious injury’

Eliza Fletcher, 38, was abducted in Memphis, Tennessee, while going on her morning run.
Eliza Fletcher, 38, was abducted in Memphis, Tennessee, while going on her morning run.(Memphis Police Dept.)
Published: Sep. 4, 2022 at 8:37 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 4, 2022 at 3:59 PM EDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC/Gray News) - A man has been arrested in connection with the abduction of Eliza Fletcher, WMC reported.

Memphis Police Department arrested Cleotha Abston, 38, and charged him with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

“This remains to be an active and ongoing investigation,” police said via Twitter.

Abston would not tell police where to find Fletcher, an affidavit said. Police said the physical evidence and facts of the case lead them to believe Fletcher “suffered serious injury.”

Cleotha Abston
Cleotha Abston(Memphis Police Department)

Fletcher, 34, was jogging early Friday morning when a man approached her and forced her into a dark-colored GMC Terrain after a brief struggle. Fletcher was reported missing when she did not return home.

Her cellphone and a pair of sandals were found lying on the street.

According to the affidavit, Abston’s DNA was found on the sandals and investigators discovered surveillance footage of Abston wearing the same sandals a day before the abduction.

Investigators used Abston’s cellphone records to determine that he was near the area Fletcher was abducted Friday morning.

Police interviewed a witness who told them Abston went to his brother’s house Friday around 10:00 a.m. The witness told police Abston was “cleaning the interior of the GMC Terrain with floor cleaner” and he was “behaving oddly.”

His brother told police that he saw Abston acting strange and washing his clothes in the sink of his house.

Saturday morning, a U.S. Marshals task force went to the address and saw the vehicle and Abston standing in the doorway. He attempted to flee but was captured, according to the affidavit.

Fletcher is 5 feet 6 inches tall, with brown hair and green eyes, police said. She weighs 137 pounds.

She is the granddaughter of the late Joseph “Joe” Orgill III, a Memphis hardware businessman and philanthropist. Her family is offering a $50,000 reward through CrimeStoppers for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, went missing around 4:30 a.m. Friday. Police found her personal items but have not located her. (Source: WMC)