The cause of death for Eliza Fletcher has been revealed.
As you may recall, the 34-year-old kindergarten teacher was reported missing earlier this month when she never returned home from her usual morning run in Memphis, Tennessee. Police soon determined Eliza had been kidnapped when security footage appeared to show a woman matching her description being ‘forced into an SUV’ by an unknown man. Her kidnapping soon sparked a frantic three-day search for the millionaire heiress, and she was later found dead behind a city apartment building on Labor Day. So, so sad…
Following the tragedy, police arrested a 38-year-old man named Cleotha Abston was arrested and charged with first degree murder, commission of kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence related to Eliza’s death. Investigators were able to link Abston to the kidnapping after his Champion sandals and Eliza’s cell phone were discovered at the scene. When police sent the shoes for DNA testing, they matched the suspect who had been in the system before. It was believed that Abston was cleaning up a GMC Terrain a few hours before the abduction. And in an affidavit, police also noted that two witnesses, including his brother Mario Abston, had seen him “washing his clothes in the house sink” after the abduction. He also told cops that Cleotha was acting “strange” at the time.
Now, more details regarding his brutal death have been released weeks later. According The sun On Thursday, Eliza died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head. The autopsy further revealed that she had suffered blunt force trauma to her right leg. A toxicology report also revealed fentanyl was in his system at the time of his death. Simply awful.
His family has not yet spoken of the latest developments in the case. However, Eliza’s loved ones previously expressed how ‘heartbroken’ they were by her ‘senseless loss’ in a press conferencesaying:
“We are heartbroken and devastated by this senseless loss. Liza was such a joy to so many – her family, friends, colleagues, students, parents, members of her Second Presbyterian Church congregation, and everyone who knew her. Now is the time to remember and celebrate how special she was and to support those who cared about her so much.
“We appreciate all the expressions of love and concern we have received. We are grateful beyond measure to local, state and federal law enforcement for their tireless efforts to find Liza and bring justice to the responsible for this horrific crime. We hope that everyone, including representatives of the media, will understand the need for the family to grieve in privacy without outside intrusion during this painful time.”
Our thoughts continue to go out to Eliza’s family. Let’s hope they get justice for her murder soon.
[Image via Memphis Police Department]