A body found in a search for Eliza Fletcher has reportedly been identified – just days after the missing heiress was kidnapped while out on a jog.
The remains were found Monday about 48 hours after suspect Cleotha Abston, 38, was arrested and charged.
Sources have told Fox13 that the body found belongs to Fletcher.
Haunting surveillance footage showed Eliza, a multimillion-dollar hardware fortune heiress, out for a jog just before she was put into a dark-colored SUV near the University of Memphis in Tennessee on Friday.
A person believed to be Abston is seen being pushed into the vehicle after a brief struggle around 4:30am.
Eliza, 34, a junior kindergarten teacher, was known for regularly running the same route.
The 34-year-old’s smashed phone and water bottle were mysteriously discovered outside a university home.
A police affidavit said two witnesses, including the suspect’s brother Mario Abston, also saw him “washing his clothes in the sink in the house” after the kidnapping.
Mario told officers his brother had been acting “strange”.
Abston’s Champion sandals were discovered at the scene. When they were sent for DNA testing, police found they matched Abston, who was already on the system.
Over the weekend, US Marshalls found the GMC Terrain parked in front of Abston’s home in Waterstone Oak Way, Memphis.
Police said the 38-year-old tried to flee but was arrested and is now in custody. He refuses to cooperate or tell officials where Eliza is.
The affidavit said the suspect “aggressively ran towards Eliza” and “forced” her onto the passenger side of his GMC compound.
Police say it is “obvious” from witness testimony that the struggle to kidnap Eliza and her injuries left evidence in the car “that the defendant cleaned.”
LONG CRIMINAL RECORDS
Abston was previously sentenced to 20 years without parole for the kidnapping of attorney Kemper Durand on May 25, 2000, the Memphis Police Department confirmed to The US Sun.
Durand was walking to his car around 2 a.m. after attending a party on Beale Street, Memphis, when Abston approached him from behind, took his wallet, and forced him into the trunk of a vehicle.
Abston drove around for a few hours while holding Durand hostage and picked up friends on his trip, the Memphis Flyer reported at the time.
He then escorted the victim to an ATM at a Mapco station to withdraw money.
Durand spotted a uniformed Memphis Housing Authority officer inside screaming for help, startling Abston and his buddies, who ran.
At the time of the offense, Abston already had a long juvenile record of theft and aggravated assault.
Tennessee Department of Justice records confirmed his release date was July 11, 2020.
One of the friends Abston took while he held Durand captive, Marquette Cobbins, pleaded guilty to assisting in a kidnapping charge of the crime.
He was 17 when he was sentenced to seven and a half years and is eligible for parole in 18 months despite a victim’s plea for a lesser sentence.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/6150768/eliza-fletcher-missing-heiress-body-found-identified/ Eliza Fletcher update: Body found four days after violent kidnapping during search as ‘missing Memphis heiress identified’