Man charged in kidnapping of Tennessee teacher who went missing while jogging

Memphis Police announced on Sunday that Eliza Fletcher was still missing, but that Cleotha Abston had been charged with her kidnapping

Jenna Amatulli
Sunday 04 September 2022 14:18 BST
Man suspected of kidnapping tries to attack police officer with pen in interrogation room

Police have charged a 38-year-old man in the abduction of Tennessee teacher Eliza Fletcher, who is still missing.

On Sunday, Memphis Police announced that the vehicle of interest -- a black SUV -- in her disappearance had been found and that the male occupying the vehicle had been detained. The male in question was Cleotha “Pookie” Abston, who police say was “charged with Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence.”

He’s being held at the Shelby County Jail.

Ms Fletcher, a 34-year-old married mom with two children, went missing after going for a jog early on Friday morning in her neighborhood. Shortly after beginning her run, she was reportedly pushed into an SUV and kidnapped by an unknown man. WREG later reported blurry photos of the suspected car used in the abduction -- a dark coloured, GMC Terrain.

Last seen wearing a pink running top and purple shorts, members of the public had been offered $50,000 for the safe return of the 5ft 6in tall woman with light brown/blonde hair and green eyes.

Police also confirmed on Sunday that they’d arrested a second person during their investigation, though the person is not believed to have been connected to the kidnapping.

Mario Abston, 36, was also charged with “Possession of a Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Manufacture & Sell Fentanyl, Possession of a Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Manufacture and Sell Heroin, & Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony,” as per the Memphis police department’s Twitter page.

Of Ms Fletcher’s disappearance, police added that it remains “an active and ongoing investigation” and that ask if “anyone has any information concerning this investigation, they should call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.”

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