Body of Eliza Fletcher found after heiress disappeared while jogging in Memphis, man charged with murder

The body of a american teacherwho was abducted while jogging, has been found and a suspect has been charged with her murder.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was found dead behind a vacant duplex in Tennessee on Monday.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: The chilling murder of an American jogger sparks a major investigation.

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Her body was found about 12km from where surveillance video shows she was forced into an SUV around 4am on Friday.

Suspect Cleotha Abston, 38, was arrested over the weekend and will face trial on first-degree murder charges, adding to the kidnapping and other charges he has already faced, said Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy.

“To lose someone so young and so vital is a tragedy in itself, but for it to happen this way, with a senseless act of violence, it is unimaginable,” Mulroy said.

“We have no reason to believe it was anything other than an isolated attack by a stranger.”

It’s too early to determine “the location and method of death,” Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis said.

Fletcher, a kindergarten teacher at St Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis, was jogging in a neighborhood near the University of Memphis when a man chased her and forced her into a black SUV, announced the authorities.

Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher has been found dead after going missing while on a run. Credit: Memphis Police Department

Fletcher was the granddaughter of hardware magnate Joseph Orgill III, who died in 2018 aged 80. According to the company, Tennessee-based Orgill has annual revenue of $3 billion.

Fletcher’s husband reported her missing Friday morning when she failed to return from her jog, sparking an intense weekend chase.

Abston was arrested near his Memphis home on Saturday after investigators uncovered clues, including surveillance video of the abduction, authorities said in an affidavit filed Sunday.

Eliza Fletcher left for a run around 4 a.m. Friday morning. Credit: Memphis Police Department

The affidavit revealed that someone found Fletcher’s phone on the street on Central Ave on Friday morning, and it was given to one of Fletcher’s relatives who turned it over to police investigators.

Police then found surveillance video of the area, which shows a black GMC Terrain passing by her, according to the affidavit.

A man is seen in the footage getting out of the SUV and “aggressively” running towards her before forcing her into the passenger seat of the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

The SUV remained in a parking lot for about four minutes after the two people got inside and then drove off, the affidavit says.

Police also analyzed a pair of sandals found at the kidnapping site near the victim’s phone. DNA found on the shoes matched Abston’s DNA, the affidavit states.

Surveillance footage captured at a local theater the day before Fletcher disappeared showed Abston wearing what authorities believe to be the same pair of Champion slide sandals found at the crime scene, according to the affidavit.

Police have not said what led them to the vacant duplex where Fletcher’s body was found.

Officials at the school where Fletcher worked said they were “heartbroken at the loss of our beloved teacher, colleague and friend.”

“This morning our faculty and staff started the day at the chapel. We lit candles to remember Liza who was a shining light in our community,” reads St Mary’s Episcopal School Facebook.

“Liza embodied the song we sing every week in the Early Years Chapel, This Little Light Of Mine, I’m Going To Let It Shine.

“We continue to draw strength from our school-wide reading The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. ‘We don’t know about tomorrow,’ the horse said, ‘everything we need to know is that we love each other”.

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