Memphis Police Discover Body in the Vicinity of Eliza Fletcher Crime Scene


Although a body has been located near the Memphis location where police believe Eliza Fletcher was kidnapped Friday, the body has not been identified.

The body was found near the apartment of Mario Abston, 36, who is the brother of the man arrested on suspicion of kidnapping Fletcher, according to The New York Times.

Police said Cleotha Abston, 38, the suspect, had been seen in the area after Fletcher’s abduction.

Mario Abston was arrested on drug and weapon posession charges, according to the Times. A Twitter post published by the Memphis Police Department said he was “not believed to be connected to Fletcher’s abduction.”

A witness and Mario Abston have said during the time the suspect was at his brother’s home, he was behaving oddly and cleaned the interior of his SUV.

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“The identity of this person and the cause of death is unconfirmed at this time. The investigation is ongoing,” Memphis police tweeted Monday.

Fletcher was last seen jogging in the Tennessee city at about 4:30 a.m. Friday when she passed a surveillance camera near the University of Memphis.

A black GMC Terrain then passed by her, according to surveillance footage.

Fletcher appeared to be forced into the SUV, which remained in a parking lot for about four minutes before driving off.

“There appeared to be a struggle,” court records stated, according to the Times.

An affidavit said police found “physical evidence that she suffered serious injury,” according to CNN.

Cleotha Abston, 38, was arrested Saturday after police found the SUV in question near his home.

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One link in the case came from a pair of sandals found near where Fletcher is believed to have been taken, according to CNN.

Surveillance footage from a theater showed Abston wearing what appear to be the same sandals found at the crime scene, CNN reported, citing the affidavit.

Abston was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence, according to the Times.

Court records state Cleotha Abston “declined to provide investigators with the location of the victim,” the Times reported.

“It is believed and supported by the facts and physical evidence that she suffered serious injury,” the records state, according to the Times. “Further, it is probable and apparent from witness statements that these injuries left evidence, e.g., blood, in the vehicle that the defendant cleaned.”

Fletcher, 34, is a junior kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, according to the Times.

Cleotha Abston had been released from prison in November 2020, according to the New York Post. In 2001, he’d been sentenced to a 24-year term for a kidnapping in 2000, Post reported.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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