The body was found very close to the apartment of the suspect's brother. No cause of death has been revealed.
Trigger warning: This article contains themes of abduction, violence, and trauma that some readers may find distressing
Police said Monday that a body had been discovered in south Memphis, where they had been looking for Eliza Fletcher. As we reported earlier, Fletcher, a mother of two, had been abducted while she was on a morning jog. According to Memphis police, the deceased person has not been identified, and no cause of death has been found. The corpse was discovered around 5:07 p.m. local time, reports CBS News. Authorities say, Fletcher, 34, was out running at 4 a.m. on Friday when she was approached by a guy who forced her into a black SUV after a brief struggle as per footage captured on surveillance video.
In the case of the missing kindergarten teacher, Cleotha Abston, 38, was charged with exceptionally aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence. Abston matched the description of the man that was seen in the video. Moreover, he was discovered inside the SUV that officials were searching for in relation to the abduction. Abston was arrested outside the home of a woman who owns the SUV and where Abston was staying.
The surveillance footage shows Abston running, "aggressively toward the victim, and then [forcing] the victim Eliza Fletcher into the passenger’s side of the vehicle," according to a Police affidavit. The police also said that there appeared to be a struggle which might have caused Fletcher some serious injuries, reports New York Post.
BREAKING: Sources tell WREG a body has been found in this area. The victim has not been identified. https://t.co/aymXjTZPaM— Bria Jones (@BriaJonesTV) September 6, 2022
Bria Jones of CBS station WREG-TV reported Monday that a strong police presence was there in a location "very close to where a dumpster was towed from outside Cleo Abston's brother's apartment" on Sunday. Fletcher teaches junior kindergarten at St. Mary's Episcopal School, an all-girls independent, private school in Memphis. She belongs to a billionaire family and is the granddaughter of Orgill who established the now $3 Billion business Orgill Inc. A massive search for Fletcher is underway, and her family has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.
DEVELOPING: Memphis police have returned to Longview apartments as apart of their investigation into the abduction into Eliza Fletcher. Currently, a helicopter is hovering above the complex. It appears officers are looking for someone. @3onyourside pic.twitter.com/pnMeA88Tzu— Jordan James (@JordanJamesTV) September 4, 2022
Authorities claimed Abston refused to tell them where Fletcher was when he was arrested Saturday morning. He was apprehended after a bystander discovered sandals at the scene of the crime that had DNA that linked him to the suspected kidnapping. He is being held on $500,000 bail and has a history of running into trouble with the police, including a previous conviction for kidnapping an attorney when he was just 16 years old.
She went for a run at 4:30 am.— Cernovich (@Cernovich) September 6, 2022
Kidnapped and murdered, maybe worse happened before dying.
This is the real world result of criminal justice reform. https://t.co/OPB8zGDZ4w
Abston was released in 2020 after serving 20 years in jail for the previous case. He has a bad reputation among his neighbors who said that he constantly asks women for sex in exchange for money, reports New York Post. A neighbor told WREG, "He gave me creepy vibes — he would look at you some type of way." Mario Abston, his brother, 36, was charged on Sunday with possession with intent to produce and sell fentanyl and heroin, as well as possession of a handgun during the commission of a violent felony. He is currently reported to be not related to Fletcher's disappearance.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images/Jennifer Coffindaffer