Suspect in Death of Tenn. Teacher Eliza Fletcher Seen on Video Cleaning Car After Murder

 Suspect in Death of Tenn. Teacher Eliza Fletcher Seen on Video Cleaning Car After Murder


Last Friday at around 4:20 a.m., Eliza Fletcher was reportedly forced into a vehicle while jogging near the University of Memphis, police say.

Before the body of missing Tennessee schoolteacher, Eliza Fletcher was found on Monday, the man suspected of killing her was caught on camera cleaning up the car he is said to have used to abduct her.

Fletcher’s body was found around seven miles from where the 34-year-old mother of two was reportedly dragged into a dark-colored GMC Terrain SUV in surveillance footage.

The Longview Garden apartments in Memphis, where Cleotha Abston, 38, was first seen following the kidnapping, are visible in surveillance footage obtained by WREG.

For more than an hour, Abston appears to be taking things out of the vehicle and cleaning the interior and the trunk.

Previously-released court documents alleged that an unnamed witness who knew Abston told authorities that she saw him “cleaning the interior of the GMC Terrain with floor cleaner.” She also “stated that he was behaving oddly.”

Mario, Abston’s brother, allegedly told cops that he also saw him cleaning the car floor, before “washing his clothes in the sink of the house.” The affidavit adds that Mario said his brother was “acting very strange.”

The area where Fletcher’s body was discovered is close to the apartment complex.

Abston was detained and first accused of exceptionally aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence in connection with Fletcher’s disappearance, according to a press release from the Memphis Police Department.

As per People, after Fletcher’s body was found, Abston’s charges were upgraded to first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping.

In addition to working as a teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Fletcher frequently ran near the campus. She is also the great-granddaughter of Memphis hardware magnate and late millionaire Joseph “Joe” Orgill III.

The detention of Abston is without bond. A public defender who is defending him did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment. To the charges against him, he has not yet filed a plea.

Abston previously entered a guilty plea to an especially severe abduction charge in 2000 after allegedly abducting a well-known lawyer, according to WREG, citing Shelby County court documents. Although he received a 24-year prison term, he was freed early in November 2020.

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