Career criminal Cleotha Abston has been charged with the kidnapping and murder of Eliza “Liza” Fletcher. Fletcher was last seen jogging on the campus of the University of Memphis. According to a police affidavit, surveillance footage shows a man running “aggressively” toward Fletcher and shoving her into a dark-colored SUV. The same footage shows Fletcher and Abston struggling for a while in the parking lot. The vehicle remained stationary for at least four minutes.
Eliza Fletcher was not seen after the kidnapping until a body matching her description, which was later identified as her, was found. Her body was found just one mile away from an apartment complex where Abston was spotted cleaning out the same dark-colored SUV that he is known to drive. Cleotha Abston has been charged with a variety of offenses, including kidnapping, murder, tampering with evidence, and even identify fraud for using a credit card improperly. It is not clear if the credit card charge is linked to Fletcher.
Cleotha Abston is no stranger to the law. He has a lengthy rap sheet that includes a rape charge from when he was just twelve years old. He served 20 years on another kidnapping charge. The prior kidnapping was of a lawyer who he took, at gunpoint, to various ATMs around Memphis in an attempt to extract money from him. Luckily, the lawyer survived. Years ago, before Abston’s release, the lawyer put out a statement saying how he was very lucky that he survived the ordeal. It is not clear if the kidnapping of Eliza Fletcher was financially motivated. However, she is an heiress of Memphis billionaire Joseph Orgill III. She leaves behind two children.
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