The Memphis Police Department has arrested a 38-year-old man, Cleotha Abston, in connection with Eliza Fletcher’s puzzling abduction on Saturday, September 2. The accused was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence, the authorities revealed.
Eliza Fletcher is a resident of Memphis. She is a 34-year-old mother and a kindergarten teacher also. Eliza was kidnapped on Friday, September 3, while she went out for her daily morning run.
According to the latest reports, Cleotha Abston, the man who has been charged with the abduction of Tennessee heiress Eliza Fletcher, has been accused of rape as a young teenager. He has previously served 20 years in jail for violently kidnapping a prosecutor, Kemper Durand.
Keep reading this article to learn more about Kemper Durand, Eliza Fletcher’s kidnapping, and more!
Who was Kemper Durand?
Kemper Durand was the Memphis-based prosecutor who was kidnapped by Cleotha Abston at gunpoint in the early hours of May 25, 2000. Abston was just 16 years old when he committed this kidnapping.
Cleotha was given a 20-year jail term without the possibility of release for kidnapping Kemper Durand. Abston tried to challenge the given sentence, but Durand fought for him to remain locked up. Abston’s jail term ended in November 2020, after which he was released.
More about the incident
The incident of Cleotha Abston kidnapping Kemper occurred 20 years ago. At around two in the morning on May 25, 2000, Kemper Durand was returning towards his car after attending a party on Beale Street when a shooter, who was Cleotha Abston, approached from behind. He took all his money and forced him to get into the trunk.
“Kemper was trapped in the cold darkness of his car trunk for the next several hours,” as Abston, along with one of his friends, drove the car throughout the city. From time to time, they would stop the car. They would open the trunk, pull Kemper out to withdraw money from an ATM machine.
The report stated that it was only “after a few hours” that Kemper spotted an armed security guard near one of the ATMs and yelled for help, upon which the attackers fled.
“I was extremely lucky that I was able to escape from the custody of Cleotha Abston,” the victim, Kemper Durand, once said. He later died in 2013.
Eliza Fletcher’s Kidnapping Case Updates
Following Eliza Fletcher’s disappearance on Friday, September 2nd, the Memphis Police have arrested a 38-year-old man, Cleotha Abston. He was arrested after his DNA was found on a pair of sandals near the location of Fletcher’s abduction.
As per the reports, Cleotha Abston, was seen “washing his clothes in the sink of the house,” by two witnesses. Later some video footage also showed him allegedly violently abducting the teacher, during her morning run on September 2.
Eliza Fletcher’s identifications
Fletcher is described as a white woman with blonde hair and green eyes. She stands at a height of 5’6″ and weighs about 137 lbs. Her hair was tied up in a bun. She was wearing a pink athletic top along with a matching headband. On her lower body, Eliza was wearing purple-colored running shorts.
At around 4:20 in the morning, September 2, Eliza Fletcher, a passionate runner, goes for a run along her customary path close to the University of Memphis. When Fletcher failed to return after her run, both the University of Memphis and Fletcher’s husband, Richard Fletcher III, called the Memphis Police Department at around 7:45 a.m. to report her missing.
The MPD said that they found a “deceased body” just after 5 o’clock near the location where Eliza Fletcher was kidnapped. The authorities revealed that till now, neither the identity of the body nor the cause of death have been confirmed.
According to the Memphis police, “Fletcher was abducted and forced into a black SUV on her run. The suspected SUV car has been located and the man occupant has been taken into custody. However, they are still looking for the kidnapped woman. The Memphis Police Department has requested anyone with information about the kidnapping to come forward to help the authorities.
We hope the authorities will be able to find Eliza Fletcher as soon as possible and that the culprits will be published. We send our best wishes to Eliza’s children, family, and friends in these hard times. For the latest updates on Fletcher’s kidnapping case, keep visiting the website.