Police in Tennessee have found the body of missing heiress Eliza Fletcher. The 34-year-old mother-of-two was forced into a black SUV in a “violent” manner while being abducted. A pair of sandals left at the scene led the police to her alleged abductor Cleotha Abston, who reportedly stalked her and waited for her to run past him on her morning jog before he could ambush her. Authorities are yet to confirm Fletcher’s cause of death. Abston has been charged with her murder.
WREG has now obtained surveillance video that shows Abston cleaning his car hours after the abduction of Fletcher. Before her body was found, a witness said she saw Abston cleaning the interior of the GMC Terrain using floor cleaner. He was also seen washing his clothes in a sink.
The video was released after Memphis Police confirmed that Fletcher was found dead behind a home in South Memphis. The body was discovered during a search in South Memphis near the place where Abston was seen cleaning his car, according to police.
In the video, Abston is seen arriving at the Longview Garden apartments where his brother lives, more than three hours after he kidnapped Fletcher. He sits in the vehicle for some time and then goes to the trunk. It is unclear what exactly he is doing but soon after, he runs to his brother’s apartment. He comes back outside a few minutes later and spends over an hour on the passenger side of the vehicle.
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Fletcher had run from her home in the Central Gardens neighborhood to an area near the University of Memphis campus. After Fletcher’s abduction, one Miles Fortas was riding his bike when he found Fletcher’s cell phone and a pair of Champion slide sandals in the area where the kidnapping took place. He turned them over to authorities. “DNA found on the shoes matched DNA for Cleotha Abston”, and it was already in a police database, an affidavit said. The car used during the kidnapping reportedly belongs to a local cleaning service where Abston was employed. Officers arrested him soon after. “He attempted to flee but was taken into custody,” the police document said.
After the discovery of Fletcher’s body, her family issued a statement saying, “Liza was a such a joy to so many – her family, friends, colleagues, students, parents, members of her Second Presbyterian Church congregation, and everyone who knew her.” They added, according to BBC News, “Now it’s time to remember and celebrate how special she was and to support those who cared so much for her.”