The Memphis Teacher’s Abductor Was Convicted Of A Previous Kidnapping, Court Documents Show

According to court documents, the guy accused of the kidnapping of a still-missing Memphis teacher was previously imprisoned for aggravated kidnapping.

In November 2001, Cleotha Abston, 38, entered a guilty plea to the charge of particularly aggravated kidnapping. According to court documents, he was freed in November 2020.

According to WREG, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, In 2000, Abston was found guilty of kidnapping a local lawyer.

In connection with the kidnapping of Eliza “Liza” Fletcher, Abston is currently charged with particularly severe kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

A black GMC Terrain SUV passed by Fletcher, a 34-year-old mother of two when she was out jogging on Friday at 4 a.m., according to CCTV video of the event. Then, a man was spotted exiting the SUV, approaching Fletcher “aggressively,” and forcing her into the SUV’s passenger side. According to the video referenced in an affidavit acquired by CNN, the SUV sat in a parking lot with both people inside for almost four minutes before driving away.

Police discovered “physical indications that she suffered substantial harm,” according to the affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Abston was apprehended on Saturday when police discovered the GMC Terrain in a parking lot close to his home. The car had the same recognisable damage and partially visible licence plate as in the video from Fletcher’s kidnapping.

After US Marshals saw Abston nearby, the affidavit said that he attempted to run.
According to jail records, the suspect is being held in the Shelby County Jail on a $500,000 bond and is due to appear in court on Tuesday. It’s unknown if he has legal representation.

The affidavit claims that DNA detected on a pair of sandals near the area where officials suspect Fletcher was kidnapped assisted police in locating and apprehending Abston.

According to the affidavit, surveillance video taken from a nearby theatre the day before Fletcher’s abduction shows Abston wearing what officials believe to be the same pair of Champion slide sandals discovered at the crime site.

The vehicle in question is owned by a woman affiliated with Abston’s home address, according to further CCTV footage and testimony from Abston’s employer.

According to the affidavit, based on cell phone data, Abston was also present at the location when Fletcher was kidnapped on Friday morning.

According to a press release acquired by CNN station WHBQ from CrimeStoppers Executive Director Buddy Chapman, Fletcher’s damaged phone was discovered close to the location of her kidnapping.

The affidavit states that a witness spotted Abston at his brother’s house following the kidnapping. The witness and Abston’s brother said that as Abston cleaned the inside of his SUV and washed his clothes in the sink, he was acting strangely.

Fletcher may be seen sprinting around the neighbourhood close to the University of Memphis in photos provided by the police. According to a police alert, she was last seen sporting a pink jogging top and purple running shorts.

According to the authorities, Fletcher is White, 5 feet 6 inches tall, with brown hair and green eyes. She has a 137-pound weight.
According to WHBQ, her family is providing a $50,000 prize through CrimeStoppers for information resulting in an arrest in the case.

In a statement that Chapman posted, Eliza’s family said, “We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this prize will assist authorities in capturing those who committed this crime.”

According to a tweet from St. Mary’s Episcopal School, Fletcher teaches junior kindergarten.
In a tweet, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation stated that it was helping Memphis police with their investigation.