Eliza Fletcher latest: Cleotha Abston charged in abduction of missing Memphis jogger, police say

A man has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a Memphis woman who never returned from her early morning jog, police said.

The Memphis Police Department announced via Twitter early Sunday that Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with particularly aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering.

Police said they arrested Abston Saturday night after he was found in an SUV that authorities were looking for in connection with the kidnapping. A public information official told ABC News that they could not reveal the location of the vehicle of interest at this time.

A second person, identified as 36-year-old Mario Abston, who is not currently believed to be connected to the kidnapping, was also arrested on drug and firearms charges, police said.

Police said Eliza Fletcher, 34, remains missing and that they, along with their local and federal partners, are continuing to search for her. The investigation into her kidnapping is “active and ongoing,” police said.

Fletcher was last seen jogging around 4:20 a.m. local time Friday morning in the area of ​​Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street in Midtown Memphis near the University of Memphis campus in southwest Tennessee before she was approached by an unidentified person and Forced into a dark GMC compound, police say. The SUV — which authorities described as a vehicle of interest — started and headed west on Central Avenue, police said.

Fletcher was wearing a pink jogging top and purple running shorts at the time of her kidnapping. She has brown hair and green eyes, weighs 137 pounds and is 5 feet 6 inches tall, according to police.

St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis said in a statement on social media that Fletcher is a “beloved” junior kindergarten teacher at the all-girls prep school.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it is assisting the Memphis Police Department in finding Fletcher.

Fletcher’s family released a video statement through the Memphis Police Department on Saturday asking for her safe return.

“We would first like to thank everyone for their prayers and support,” Fletcher’s uncle Mike Keeney said in the video while surrounded by members of her family, including Fletcher’s parents, brother and husband.

“Liza has touched the hearts of many people and it shows,” he added.

The family urged anyone with information about the case to contact the authorities. They are offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to Fletcher’s safe return.

“More than anything, we want Liza to get home safely,” Keeney said. “We believe someone knows what happened and can help.”

Anyone with information on Fletcher’s whereabouts is asked to call the Memphis Police Department at 901-528-2274 or 901-545-2677, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND, or dial 911.

ABC News’ Alexandra Faul and Ahmad Hemingway contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.

https://6abc.com/eliza-fletcher-cleotha-abston-memphis-missing-jogger/12196230/ Eliza Fletcher latest: Cleotha Abston charged in abduction of missing Memphis jogger, police say

Alley Einstein

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