Grisly new details released after body of missing billionaire heiress and mom found
By Ryan King
September 06, 2022 03:26 PM
| Updated Sep 06, 2022, 04:24 PM
Law enforcement officials found “tire marks” on a high grass area and later detected an “odor of decay” while searching for billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher, according to an affidavit released Tuesday.
Fletcher, 34, went missing last Friday after she went out on an early morning jog and was later found dead by authorities Monday after officials traced the tire marks and odor of decay to a driveway in Tennessee near where her body was discovered, Fox News reported.
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Video showed Fletcher, a mother and a teacher, getting forced into an SUV Friday morning after her job near the University of Memphis. She was found dead roughly 7.5 miles from where surveillance footage showed her apparent abduction, according to authorities.
The odor and tire tracks led authorities to 1666 Victor St. in Memphis and her body was found by a set of steps close to a nearby driveway, according to the affidavit.
While canvassing the area, police discovered a trash bag that contained clothing and other items that aligned with the description of what Fletcher wore during the day she went missing, Action News 5 reported. The trash bag was reportedly located 0.3 miles away from her body.
“The bag contained purple Lululemon running shorts that were consisted with the ones Eliza Fletcher was last seen wearing,” the affidavit said, according to Fox News.
Law enforcement and medical authorities have confirmed that the body discovered was Fletcher’s.
Cleotha Abston, 38, was arrested over the weekend and is facing charges in connection with Fletcher’s murder, including kidnapping and tampering with evidence.
Abston was allegedly responsible for another kidnapping prior to Fletcher’s. He had been sentenced to 24 years in prison for the case, but he won an early release in 2020.
Surveillance footage from the area also indicated Abston was nearby in the early morning hours the day Fletcher went missing, the affidavit said. Additionally, Abston was matched to DNA found in a pair of sandals near the scene, reports said.
Abston lived at a home in which the utilities were registered to a woman who owned a GMC Terrain caught on footage near the scene, CNN reported. Footage showed the vehicle “passing and then waiting for the victim to run by,” the affidavit said.
“A male exited the black GMC Terrain, ran aggressively toward the victim, and then forced the victim Eliza Fletcher into the passenger side of the vehicle … there appeared to be a struggle,” the affidavit said. “The vehicle then sat in the parking lot with the victim inside for approximately four minutes before it drove off.”
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Fletcher is the granddaughter of hardware tycoon Joseph Orgill III, who died in 2018. Orgill Inc. sells roughly $3 billion worth of goods annually, the Daily Mail reported.
The manner of Fletcher’s death is not clear