Eliza Fletcher: How investigators found her body in a four-day search for a Memphis schoolteacher murdered in a violent abduction



CNN

Shortly after an investigator in Memphis, Tennessee, found the body On Monday, who was later identified as the missing schoolteacher Eliza “Liza” Fletcher, they found purple running shorts discarded in a nearby trash bag, officials said in a newly released affidavit.

The shorts matched the last Fletcher wore when her husband reported him missing on Friday after he didn’t get home from an early morning jog.

When investigators were looking for a 34-year-old woman on Monday, they found car tracks in the tall grass near an unoccupied duplex, and after smelling the stench of decay, the woman’s body remained unresponsive on the ground. A body has been found. Authorities announced Tuesday that the body belonged to Fletcher. She was found approximately 7.5 miles from where the surveillance video showed her kidnapping.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said at a news conference on Tuesday: “Losing someone so young and so important is a tragedy in itself, but it happens like this in senseless acts of violence. It is unimaginable.

Authorities have attributed the teacher’s death to violence, but questions remain about where and how she was killed.

As the investigation progresses, the Fletcher community mourns a junior kindergarten teacher and mother of two children.

“We are heartbroken for the loss of our beloved teacher, colleague and friend Liza Fletcher,” said St. Mary’s Episcopal School. Facebook post“This morning our faculty and staff started the day at the chapel, lighting candles to remember Liza, who was a bright light in our community,” the post said.

Fletcher was the granddaughter of hardware magnate Joseph Augill III. passed away in 2018 80 years old. She lives in Tennessee. ogil According to the company, the company has annual sales of $3 billion.

Authorities said Fletcher was jogging around 4 a.m. Friday in a neighborhood near the University of Memphis when a man chased her and forced her into an SUV.

Over the weekend, during an intensive search and investigation, investigators focused on Creosa Abston Now accused of kidnapping and murdering Fletcher.

Abston, 38, was arrested Saturday after investigators uncovered evidence, including surveillance video of the kidnapping, according to court documents.

“There is no reason to think it was anything but an isolated attack by a stranger,” Mulroy said Tuesday.

Abston was charged with kidnapping and tampering with evidence, which was especially aggravated after his arrest.

On Tuesday, prosecutors added first-degree murder, premeditated murder, and murder-in-fact charges of kidnapping. Abston is scheduled to be arraigned on those charges on Wednesday.

During Abston’s first court appearance on Tuesday, a judge appointed a public defender to represent him after he told the court he didn’t have an attorney or money to post a bond. .

Abston had received initial claims with a bond set at $510,000.

He also faces charges unrelated to the Fletcher case, including identity theft, theft of property worth less than $1,000, and unauthorized use/illegal possession of credit or debit cards worth less than $1,000, Shelby said. County prison records show.

These charges relate to a theft report filed last week by a woman who reported someone used her Cash App card and Wisely Card at a gas station without her knowledge.

CNN has reached out to the Shelby County District Attorney and the Memphis Police Department regarding the alleged theft.

Law enforcement members are working at the site of Eliza Fletcher's alleged kidnapping on Friday.

According to an affidavit filed on Sunday, during the search for Fletcher, police obtained surveillance video that showed black GMC terrain driving past the teacher as he jogged around 4 a.m.

Footage shows the man getting out of the SUV and running “aggressively” towards her, pushing her into the passenger seat of the car.

After the two entered the vehicle, the SUV remained in the parking lot for about four minutes and drove off, according to the affidavit.

Police also performed a DNA analysis on the sandals found at the abduction site, which showed that the shoe’s DNA matched Abston’s DNA.

According to the affidavit, surveillance footage taken from a local theater the day before Fletcher went missing showed Abston wearing what authorities believed were the same Champion slide sandals found at the crime scene. It was shown that

According to the affidavit, investigators also checked Abston’s cell phone records, which showed Abston was near the abduction scene during Fletcher’s kidnapping.

In addition to physical evidence, police interviewed two people who said Abston acted strangely after the abduction, the affidavit said.

After the abduction, Abston went to his brother’s house, where he cleaned the interior of the SUV and washed his clothes in the sink, the affidavit said.

Source: www.cnn.com

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