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Autopsy Reveals Cause of Death for Kidnapped Teacher Eliza Fletcher

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An autopsy report released in the death of Eliza Fletcher revealed that the 34-year-old Memphis teacher who was kidnapped in early September died of a gunshot wound to the head.

The West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center on Thursday released the report in her death, which has been ruled a homicide, according to multiple outlets.

“There are two semicircular defects to the skull consistent with a single gunshot to the head with the bullet travelling in a posterior to anterior (back to front) and right to left direction,” the autopsy report said, according to The Washington Post.

Fletcher also suffered jaw fractures and blunt-force trauma to her right leg, the report said. No bullet was found, but a shell casing was found nearby when Fletcher’s body was discovered.

The autopsy report said the drug fentanyl was found in Fletcher’s system, according to WREG-TV.

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Fletcher, heiress to a billion-dollar fortune in the hardware industry, according to the New York Post, was kidnapped early on Sept. 2 while running near the University of Memphis. Her body was found three days later behind a vacant home.

Cleotha Henderson, 38, who also has gone by the name Cleotha Abston, per The Washington Post, has been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the case. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 5, according to the New York Post.

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Henderson also has been charged in a 2021 sexual assault and rape case, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Those charges were not filed until after he had been arrested in connection with Fletcher’s death and kidnapping.

The alleged victim in the 2021 case has since sued the city of Memphis, saying her case was not investigated with appropriate diligence, according to the Commercial Appeal.

According to her lawsuit, she suffered “physical and emotional injuries” requiring continued medical and mental health treatment.

The rape kit from the 2021 case was not tested by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation until June 2022 and did not register that Henderson had been involved until August.

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By the time Memphis police were informed, Henderson already was in custody as a suspect in the Fletcher case.

Fletcher, a wife and mother of two boys, was remembered as someone who “truly walked and modeled the Christian life and trusted in her unwavering faith,” her obituary in the Daily Memphian said.

“Liza was a light to all who knew her. Her contagious smile and laughter could brighten any room. Liza was pure of heart and innocent in ways that made her see the very best in everyone she met. To know her was to love her and to be loved by her,” the obituary said.

“Her impact is extraordinary, as is witnessed in the prayer groups, vigils held at the homes of friends and family, church and school gatherings, and memorial runs and walks held in her honor. The outpouring of love and grief would have surprised Liza, who never thought or acted as if she were something special – though she certainly was.”

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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