New documents explain how police found the body of Eliza Fletcher, 34, of Memphis, who was abducted while jogging early Friday.
Ex-con Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged in connection with her kidnapping and death.
According to WHBQ-TV, citing a police affidavit, Fletcher’s body was found Monday when law enforcement officials searching the area saw car tracks in an area of high grass.
BREAKING: A body discovered in Memphis has been identified as abducted school teacher Eliza Fletcher, authorities say. https://t.co/BNd9K0Ot8R
— ABC News (@ABC) September 6, 2022
When an officer neared the area, the odor of decay was noticeable, WHBQ reported.
Fletcher’s body was next to a set of steps to a vacant house.
A discarded trash bag was found near a home in which Cleotha Abston had been with his brother, Mario. Inside the trash bag, police found purple running shorts that appeared to be the same ones worn by Fletcher when she was last seen, WHBQ reported.
The video shows Abston leaving the SUV and opening the back of the GMC Terrain. He appears to take something from the SUV with him when he enters an apartment.
Abston emerges and then spends about an hour cleaning the passenger side of the SUV. Witnesses have said he was cleaning the SUV.
The timing of the video showing Abston cleaning car roughly matches the timeframe of witness accounts saying Abston was acting strangely while visiting his brother, according to the New York Post.
April Jackson, 30, who was among those watching the police operation to recover Fletcher’s body, said the crime moved her.
“That could have been anybody out jogging that morning, a student, anyone,” she said, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
The #dumpster outside the home investigators say #CleothaAbston went to hours after abducting #ElizaFletcher is being towed away.
Affidavit: Abston came to his brother’s apartment to wash his clothes in the sink & clean the interior of his SUV. pic.twitter.com/bH8wQ9PIY2
— Pixie ✨🧚🏻♀️☀️ (@PixiePi13720126) September 4, 2022
The video showed a man getting out of the SUV. The man eventually forced Fletcher into the passenger’s seat, the affidavit said. The SUV was parked in a parking lot for about four minutes before driving away, the affidavit said.
Abston, who had served almost 20 years in prison on a kidnapping charge before being released in 2020, has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping.
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