Body found in search for Eliza Fletcher days after missing Memphis teacher 'taken by Cleotha Abston' in brutal abduction | The Sun

A BODY has been found during the search for missing Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher just days after she was violently abducted while out for a jog.

The remains were found on Monday just 48 hours after suspect Cleotha Abston, 38, was arrested and charged – but the identity has yet to be confirmed.

Officers located the unidentified corpse at 5.07pm in an area near Victor Street and Person Avenue in South Memphis.

Haunting surveillance footage captured Eliza, a millionaire heiress to a hardware fortune, jogging moments before she was bundled into a dark-colored SUV near the University of Memphis in Tennessee on Friday.

An individual, believed to be Abston, is seen pushing her into the vehicle after a brief struggle around 4:30am.

Eliza, 34, a junior kindergarten teacher, was known to run the same route regularly.

The 34-year-old's smashed-up phone and water bottle were mysteriously discovered outside a house owned by the university.

Abston was arrested on Saturday and was reportedly seen cleaning the interior of his GMC Terrain – a "vehicle of interest" – with a floor cleaner after the kidnapping, Fox News reports.

A police affidavit stated that two witnesses, including the suspect's brother Mario Abston, had also seen him "washing his clothes in the sink of the house" after the abduction.

Mario told officers that his brother had been acting "strange".

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Abston's Champion slides sandals were discovered at the scene of the crime. When sent for DNA testing, police found they matched with Abston, who was already in the system.

Over the weekend, US Marshalls found the GMC Terrain parked outside Abston's home in Waterstone Oak Way, Memphis.

Police said the 38-year-old attempted to flee but was arrested and is now in custody, refusing to cooperate or reveal to officers where Eliza is.

The affidavit states the suspect "ran aggressively toward" Eliza and "forced" her into the passenger's side of his GMC Terrain.

Police say it is "apparent" from witness statements that the struggle to kidnap Eliza and her injuries would have left evidence in the car "that the Defendant cleaned."


Abston was previously jailed for 20 years without parole for the kidnapping of attorney Kemper Durand on May 25, 2000, the Memphis Police Department confirmed to The U.S. Sun.

Durand was walking to his car around 2am after attending a party on Beale Street, Memphis, when Abston approached him from behind, took his wallet, and forced him into the trunk of a vehicle.

Abston drove around for a couple of hours while holding Durand as a hostage, picking up friends on his journey, the Memphis Flyer reported at the time.

He then escorted the victim to an ATM at a Mapco station to withdraw money.

Durand spotted a uniformed Memphis Housing Authority officer inside and yelled for help, spooking Abston and his mates who ran.

At the time of the offense, Abston already held a lengthy juvenile record of theft and aggravated assault.

Tennessee Department of Corrections records confirmed his release date was July 11, 2020.

One of the friends Abston picked up while he was holding Durand captive, Marquette Cobbins, pled guilty to aiding a kidnapping over the crime.

He was 17 years old when he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years and will be eligible for parole in 18 months, despite a plea from the victim for a lesser sentence.

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