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Body of Missing Kindergarten Teacher Identified, Family Is “Heartbroken and Devastated”
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Body of Missing Kindergarten Teacher Identified, Family Is “Heartbroken and Devastated”

The police confirmed that the body found in the search for Eliza Fletcher is hers. The suspect is now being charged with first-degree murder.

Cover Image Source: 11 Alive/Youtube

Authorities verified on Tuesday that the body discovered during the inquiry into the disappearance of Eliza Fletcher was hers, reports NBC News

As we reported earlier, Police in Memphis, Tennessee, reported on Monday that a body had been located one day after Cleotha Abston was charged. Abston, 38, was accused of abduction and tampering with evidence on Sunday. Following the discovery of Fletcher's death, further charges were filed, including first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping.



 

 

He was also charged with unrelated offenses of identity theft, theft of property, and credit card fraud. A judge set his bail at $510,000 at his appearance on Tuesday. Since Abston could not afford counsel, he was assigned a public defender. He is due in court on Wednesday to be arraigned on the murder charges.

Fletcher's corpse was discovered shortly after 5 p.m. According to authorities, the incident occurred Monday at an empty duplex residence on Victor Street, according to a news conference held Tuesday afternoon. 

 



 

 

Her family published a statement after her death was discovered, stating they were "heartbroken and devastated," per BBC News. They said, "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."

"Now it's time to remember and celebrate how special she was and to support those who cared so much for her." 

 



 

 

Fletcher was well-known in the community as the granddaughter of the late Joseph Orgill III, a rich local hardware entrepreneur, and philanthropist. His company is now reputedly valued at more than $3 billion and employs over 5,000 employees. Instead of working for the family company, Fletcher worked as a junior kindergarten teacher at St Mary's Episcopal School.

She went missing after failing to come home from her early-morning run on Friday, and her family offered a $50,000 reward for information. Officers also discovered a vehicle at Abston's home that matched CCTV video of Fletcher being pushed into a similar vehicle. After arriving at his brother's apartment complex a little over three hours after Fletcher was taken, he spent more than an hour washing his car.

Abston was previously imprisoned for nearly 20 years for kidnapping a renowned Memphis attorney at gunpoint in 2000. In late 2020, he was released.

References:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/body-missing-jogger-eliza-fletcher-identified-rcna46392

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-62811661

Cover Image Source: 11 Alive/Youtube