Suspect in Memphis teacher abduction and death to be arraigned on murder charges today
The suspect in the kidnapping and death of a Memphis teacher will be arraigned today on murder charges.
The man suspected of kidnapping and killing a jogging Memphis teacher will be arraigned Wednesday morning in a West Tennessee courtroom on murder charges. Eliza Fletcher
Eliza Fletcher Suspect in Memphis teacher
Cleotha Abston, who is accused of killing 34-year-old Eliza “Lisa” Fletcher after kidnapping her in Memphis early Friday, will be prosecuted in the city at 9 a.m. CT.
Abston, arrested over the weekend on kidnapping charges, faces new charges, including first-degree murder, after authorities announced Monday that the body found near a vacant Memphis duplex was Fletcher’s.
Fletcher’s disappearance sparked an intense manhunt—spurred by surveillance video that police say showed her being forced into an SUV early Friday while she was out on a walk—that led to Abston’s arrest on Saturday. He was arrested near his Memphis home on The news of his The community was shaken by the death.
It is tragic to lose someone so young and significant, but it is unthinkable to do so in such a mindless act of violence, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Milroy said on Tuesday.
Questions remain regarding the teacher’s murder, which investigators claim was violent, as well as the circumstances surrounding it.
However, authorities claim that there is “no basis to assume this was anything other than a lone alien strike.”
As the investigation unfolds, the community of Fletcher mourns the junior kindergarten teacher and mother of two.
She was “a delight to everyone who knew her,” according to her family, who stated this in a statement obtained by CNN affiliate WHBQ.
Our hearts have been broken and torn apart by this dreadful tragedy. “Many people liked having Lisa around, including her friends, family, coworkers, students, parents, and other Presbyterians,” the declaration added. members of the congregation at the church and everyone he knew.”
Now is the time to celebrate, remember how special she was, and show support for her fans. We are appreciative of the kindness and assistance we have received. The family of Lisa Fletcher expressed their gratitude to local, state, and federal law enforcement for their relentless efforts in locating Lisa and apprehending the perpetrator of this heinous act.
At St. According to a Tuesday post on the school’s Facebook page, Mary’s Episcopal School faculty, staff, and students started the day in the chapel by lighting candles in Fletcher’s honor.
Lisa Fletcher was a respected teacher, coworker, and friend, according to a statement from St. Mary’s Episcopal School.
Fletcher was the granddaughter of hardware magnate Joseph Orgill III, who died in 2018 at age 80. According to the corporation, Orgill, situated in Tennessee, generates $3 billion in revenue annually.
Abston, 38, was arraigned Tuesday on his preliminary charges: kidnapping and tampering with evidence, specifically. He was being held in the county jail on those charges with a bond set at $510,000.
A judge on Tuesday appointed a public defender to represent him after he told the court he did not have a lawyer or money to post bond.
Mulroy said Abston is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree murder, and aggravated kidnapping.
How did the four-day search for the deceased come about?
Around four on Friday morning, Fletcher was out for a jog in an area close to the University of Memphis. Her husband told police Friday morning that she would not return, authorities said in an affidavit, initially filed Sunday and amended Tuesday.
Someone found his phone in an alley that morning and gave it to one of Fletcher’s relatives, who gave it to investigators, the affidavit states.
According to the affidavit, police then found surveillance video of the area, which showed a black GMC Terrain driving past him. According to the affidavit, a man can be seen in the footage getting out of the SUV and running towards it “in an aggressive manner” before being forced into the vehicle’s passenger seat.
After the two men were inside, the SUV remained in the parking lot for about four minutes and then drove off the affidavit states.
Police also analyzed a pair of sandals that were found near the victim’s phone at the scene of the abduction. DNA found on the shoes matched Abston’s DNA, the affidavit states.
Investigators interviewed Abston’s employer, who said he verified his phone number by driving a GMC Terrain. According to the affidavit, investigators examined Abston’s cell phone records, which showed he was near the scene of Fletcher’s abduction when he was abducted.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force found a GMC Terrain near Abston’s home Saturday morning — and it had the same significant damage seen on surveillance footage, and a partial license plate obtained from license plate video. The information matched, the affidavit reads.
The task force took Abston into custody near his home on Saturday, the court document said.
Police gathered details from two witnesses — including Abston’s brother — who said they saw him acting strangely at the brother’s Memphis home after the abduction, according to the affidavit.
Both said Abston cleaned the interior of the GMC Terrain with floor cleaner, and he washed his clothes in the home’s sink, according to the affidavit.
The body was found near the empty house. Found discarded clothes nearby
On Monday, searchers, acting on information from an FBI team that analyzes cellphone data, found Fletcher’s body just after 5 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Searchers, using cell phone data, had focused on an area near an intersection less than a mile from the brother’s home. According to the affidavit, the team smelled decomposition coming from the area near the vacant home, saw vehicle tracks in the grass near the driveway, and eventually found a body on the property.
According to the affidavit, “investigation of the scene found that the woman matched the description of a missing person, Eliza Fletcher.”
The property was in the 1600 block of Victor Street, officials said. That’s about a half-mile from the address authorities gave for her brother’s home, a 7.5-mile drive from the site of the alleged abduction, and about a 15.5-mile drive from Abston’s home.
A little more than an hour after the body was found and about three-tenths of a mile away, a detective found a trash bag with purple running shorts — the ones Fletcher had stolen, the affidavit said. was worn at the time of
The suspect is also facing additional charges unconnected to Fletcher. Suspect in Memphis teacher
Abston also faces charges unrelated to Fletcher’s case, including identity theft, theft of property $1,000 or less, and fraud/unlawful possession of a credit or debit card $1,000 or less, Shelby County Jail records show. shows from
The charges are connected to a theft report filed last week by a woman who reported someone was using her CashApp card and Wisely card at gas stations without her knowledge.
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