MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An arrest has been made in connection with the kidnapping of a jogger in the state of Tennessee; however, the victim has not been located, and the authorities have said that they suspect she sustained significant injuries.
Cleotha Abston, who is 38 years old, has been charged with exceptionally aggravated abduction and tampering with evidence, according to the Memphis Police Department. These charges are related to the disappearance of Eliza Fletcher, who is from Memphis.
A second individual was also taken into custody, but according to the police, that suspect is “currently not considered to be involved” to the kidnapping of Fletcher early on Friday morning.
“This remains to be an active and ongoing investigation,” police said through their Twitter account.
Around four in the morning, the authorities claim that Fletcher, who is 34 years old, was abducted from the area where the University of Memphis is located while she was running. She was out running when she was approached by a guy who, after a short fight, dragged her into a car that was black in color and was a GMC Terrain. When Fletcher did not show up at her usual place of residence, a search for her was initiated.
The security tape showing the kidnapping was found by the police. According to an arrest affidavit filed by Memphis police, Abston was taken into custody after detectives used DNA testing to link him to a pair of sandals that were discovered nearby the crime site. Police were also able to establish a connection between the car and a resident of the home where Abston was residing. On Saturday morning, at around 10:45 a.m., a task group of United States Marshals went to the location and noticed the car, as well as Abston standing in the doorway. According to the affidavit, he made an effort to leave but was ultimately apprehended.
A witness reported to the police that they spotted Abston “cleaning the inside of the GMC Terrain with floor cleaner” a few hours after the abduction on Friday at a separate residence. The witness also said that Abston was “behaving weirdly” during this time.
According to the affidavit, Abston refused to provide the police with the whereabouts of Fletcher. Based on the physical evidence and the facts of the case, the police say they have reason to believe that Fletcher “suffered substantial harm.”
According to several news reports, Fletcher is the granddaughter of the late Joseph “Joe” Orgill III, a successful businessman and philanthropist in the hardware industry in Memphis. On Saturday, saw the publication of a video message from Fletcher’s family, in which they appealed for assistance in locating him.
“We believe someone knows what happened and can help,” Fletcher’s uncle said in the video.