38-year-old man was arrested in charged in the disappearance of Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher reported missing since Friday
On Sunday, a suspect was charged in connection with the kidnapping of Eliza Fletcher, a teacher from Memphis, Tennessee, who had been missing since Friday.
The New York Post said that officials charged 38-year-old Cleotha Abston with exceptionally aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence after he was found inside the black SUV that was connected to the crime.
BREAKING OVERNIGHT : Police have arrested a suspect in the kidnapping case of Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher. Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence, Memphis Police announced early Sunday. pic.twitter.com/2E9r6Hcdvb
— Jordan James (@JordanJamesTV) September 4, 2022
Fletcher, a mother of two who is 34 years old and was out enjoying her morning jog when she was pushed into a GMC Terrain of a dark color.
UPDATE: The individual who was detained has been officially charged in connection with the abduction of Eliza Fletcher. At this point in the investigation, Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence.
— Memphis Police Dept (@MEM_PoliceDept) September 4, 2022
Her great-grandfather had founded Orgill Inc., a hardware company that is now worth $3 billion, and the family was offering a prize of $50,000 to anyone who had information that could help them locate her and bring her back home.
Have you seen this woman or vehicle?
Eliza Fletcher was abducted this morning in midtown Memphis while running.
She was forced into a vehicle. There is no known direction of travel.
Tips? Call @MEM_PoliceDept at 901-528-2274 or 901-545-2677, or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/HpTfQbKjAy
— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) September 2, 2022
The authorities from the Memphis police department have continued their search for the missing woman.
Dakarai Turner, an investigative reporter for Fox 13, reported on Sunday morning that the defendant is believed to have entered a guilty plea to crimes in the year 2000.
“According to public records available online, Cleotha Abston entered a guilty plea in the year 2000 on one count of exceptionally severe kidnapping as well as one count of aggravated robbery. Because he was given a term of 24 years in jail, he became eligible for release sometime in the last six to twelve months,” the author wrote:
Online records show Cleotha Abston plead guilty to one count each of especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery in 2000.
He was sentence to 24 years in prison, making him eligible for release sometime within the last 6-12 months. @FOX13Memphis pic.twitter.com/IjqtprZtkJ
— Dakarai Turner (@Dakarai_Turner) September 4, 2022
According to an article published by the Post, an additional man who is not currently considered to have any link to the recent incident was also arrested and charged.
“Mario Abston, 36, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture and sell fentanyl, possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture and sell heroin, and convicted felon in possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony,” the outlet said, adding that the suspects were booked into the Shelby County Jail. “Mario Abston, 36, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to manufacture and sell fentanyl,” the outlet
According to the reporter Bria Jones, DNA that was taken from shoes found at the scene identified Cleotha Abston as a suspect. Jones also mentioned that the man’s brother informed detectives that his behavior was “weird.”
According to a post that Jones published on social media, “He was spotted washing his clothes in the sink and cleaning the interior of his GMC Terrain.”
➡️ Police used DNA from shoes at the scene to identify Cleotha Abston as a suspect in #ElizaFletcher abduction
➡️ His brother told officers he acting “strange”
➡️ He was seen washing his clothes in the sink & cleaning the interior of his GMC Terrain@3onyourside pic.twitter.com/0WrmSHAxow
— Bria Jones (@BriaJonesTV) September 4, 2022
Fletcher’s uncle, Mike Keeney, said the family believes someone out there has more information regarding the case that could assist investigators:
“More than anything we want to see Liza returned home safely. The family has offered a reward for any information that leads to her safe return. We believe someone knows what happened and can help,” he told listeners.