Abducted Memphis mother forced into SUV during early morning run

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was last seen wearing a pink running top and purple shorts with her blonde hair in a bun, police said

Johanna Chisholm
Saturday 03 September 2022 14:00 BST
Eliza Fletcher, 34, was reported missing after she went for an early morning job and was reportedly forced into an SUV near the University of Memphis campus, police said
Eliza Fletcher, 34, was reported missing after she went for an early morning job and was reportedly forced into an SUV near the University of Memphis campus, police said (Memphis Police Department)

Family members of a 34-year-old woman who went missing while going for an early morning jog are offering members of the public who are able to assist in the arrest $50,000.

On Friday at approximately 4.30am, authorities say Eliza Fletcher went for a run in her neighbourhood, located close to the University of Memphis campus, when she was reportedly forced into an SUV and kidnapped by an unidentified man.

At around 7am, the University of Memphis Police called Memphis police to assist in a missing person report after they were made aware that Ms Fletcher had been kidnapped after encountering a brief struggle with the man. Ms Fletcher also goes by Liza.

Later in the day on Friday, officers released blurry photos of the car they suspect was used to abduct Ms Fletcher and described the suspect as driving a dark coloured, GMC Terrain, WREG reported. They believe the car was headed westbound on Central Ave in the city.

A City Watch Alert was deployed shortly after she was declared missing. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations issued a state-wide missing person alert on their social media pages and is reportedly assisting in the investigation, WREG reported.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was reported missing after she went for an early morning job and was reportedly forced into an SUV near the University of Memphis campus, police said
Eliza Fletcher, 34, was reported missing after she went for an early morning job and was reportedly forced into an SUV near the University of Memphis campus, police said (Memphis Police Department)

MPD circulated a picture on their social media feed that shows the junior kindergarten teacher jogging along the street shortly before she was forced into a car.

The 34-year-old mother is described as having been wearing a pink running top and purple shorts and is said to be 5ft 6in tall with light brown/blonde hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing her hair in a bun.

Eliza Fletcher, also known as Liza, was last seen wearing a pink running top, purple running shorts and her blonde/brown hair in a bun on her head
Eliza Fletcher, also known as Liza, was last seen wearing a pink running top, purple running shorts and her blonde/brown hair in a bun on her head (Memphis Police Department)

Officers investigating the scene where Ms Fletcher was abducted said they later recovered her personal items, which included a water bottle and cell phone, in front of a home owned by the university, WBIR reported.

Friends of the missing woman implored the public to assist in the investigation and return of the mother of two young boys in any way they could, telling local news outlets that the family simply wanted to “find her”.

“You don’t wanna hear that that’s going on. We want to find her,” said Hart Robinson, a friend of Ms Fletcher, in a phone interview with WREG. “We don’t know what’s going on, but everybody is desperately looking for her and the police here are on it. You can see there is a lot of activity, so if you know anything or saw anything early this morning, we just ask that you come forward.”

Officers released surveillance video of the GMC Terrain that they believe was used to abduct Ms Fletcher on Friday
Officers released surveillance video of the GMC Terrain that they believe was used to abduct Ms Fletcher on Friday (Memphis Police Department)

Hutchison School, where Ms Fletcher graduated from in 2006, issued a plea on their Facebook page for the community to pray for her safe return.

“She was abducted this morning near the University of Memphis while running. She is a beloved alumna, and we pray for her safety and for her family,” the high school’s Facebook page read.

A church in the area where Ms Fletcher was said to be a congregant put out an “urgent call to prayer” after learning about the 34-year-old’s early morning disappearance.

“Please join us in praying for Liza’s safety, and that she will be found soon. Please also pray for her family,” the Second Presbyterian Church wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.

Later in the day on Friday, the family of the missing mother issued a separate plea while reupping that anyone with information that could assist in an arrest or return of Ms Fletcher would be awarded the $50,000.

“We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help police capture those who committed this crime,” the family said in a statement Friday.

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