ELIZA Fletcher died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, an autopsy revealed weeks after the missing millionaire heiress’ body was found after she was kidnapped while out for a morning jog.
Suspect Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the Sept. 2 kidnapping and murder of the doting Memphis teacher.
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.
Her body was found in a vacant maisonette on Monday evening.
Eliza’s broken phone and water bottle were mysteriously discovered outside a university home.
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.
On Saturday, US Marshalls found the GMC Terrain parked in front of Abston’s home in Waterstone Oak Way, Memphis.
Abston was reportedly spotted cleaning the inside of his GMC with a floor cleaner after the hijacking, Fox News reports.
Police said Abston tried to flee but was arrested.
According to a police affidavit, the suspect “aggressively ran at” Eliza and “forced” her onto the passenger side of his GMC Terrain.
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.”
The affidavit said two witnesses, including the suspect’s brother Mario Abston, also saw him “washing his clothes in the house’s sink” after the kidnapping.
Mario told officers his brother had been acting “strange”.
At the time of his arrest, officers revealed that Abston had refused to provide them with Fletcher’s whereabouts.
During his Sept. 6 indictment, prosecutors announced additional charges against Abston, including first degree murder and murder in the commission of a kidnapping.
Abston had previously been charged with particularly aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering.
Officials added three more charges against Abston on September 4, stemming from an incident days earlier.
On September 1st, a woman claimed that her CashApp and Wisely Card were being used without her consent.
The victim told police she left her wallet at a Malco movie theater in Memphis. A cleaning service manager claimed he saw Abston take the wallet.
Abston was charged with identity theft, stealing $1,000 or less of property, and illegally possessing a credit or debit card for $1,000 or less.
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 plea for a lesser sentence.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6158194/memphis-heiress-eliza-fletcher-cause-of-death-revealed/ Eliza Fletcher’s cause of death revealed when missing Memphis heiress’ body found 4 days after Cleotha Abston ‘kidnapping’