Eliza Fletcher, a teacher from Memphis, was dead with being strangled in what police were called a “isolated murder by a stranger.”
The 34-year-old, a mother of two, was a local teacher and the granddaughter of a wealthy and powerful billionaire.
She was snatched early on Friday morning while running near to the University of Memphis campus.
Ms. Fletcher was abducted and murdered by 38-year-old Cleotha Abston, who had history of kidnapping charges.
Upon the finding of her body, her family issued a statement for which they expressed themself as “devastated and heartbroken.”
They remarked that Liza was a delight to everyone who knew her, especially her family, friends, colleagues, students, parents, and representatives of her Second Protestant Church community.
Ms. Fletcher was well-known in the area and was the late Joseph Orgill III’s (a billionaire local hardware businessman and philanthropist) granddaughter. His business reportedly has a current worth of over $3 billion (£2.6 billion) and over 5,000 employees.
Ms. Fletcher didn’t seem to work for the family – owned company; rather was a junior kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School.
On Friday at about 4:00 local time, she left. According to police records, CCTV footage revealed a guy approaching her and getting into a brawl with her before pushing Ms. Fletcher into a black SUV.
After she didn’t come home on her early-morning run on Friday, her family issued a missing person report, offering a $50,000 (£43,330) reward for info.
Around 17:07 local time (23:07 BST) on Monday, the Memphis Police Department confirmed that police had discovered a body; however, they cautioned that no identification had been made.
According to an arrest affidavit, Abston was detained after his DNA was found on a pair of shoes retrieved close to the site of Ms. Fletcher’s last known presence.
Bston previously served nearly 20 years in jail for assaulting at gunpoint a well-known Memphis lawyer in 2000. He was released at the end of 2020.