Man charged with kidnapping missing Memphis jogger Eliza Fletcher

A man has been charged with kidnapping a woman who went missing while jogging near the University of Memphis on Friday, police said.

Cleotha Abston, 38, “has been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence,” the Memphis Police Department statement said Sunday.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, “has not been located at this time,” the statement added.

Eliza Fletcher
Eliza Fletcher.Memphis Police Dept.

Investigators were continuing to search for the mother of two who went missing early Friday morning, the statement said.

“This remains to be an active and ongoing investigation,” it added.  

In an earlier statement police said Fletcher’s personal items were recovered. At the time of kidnapping, she was wearing purple jogging shorts and a pink top.

On Saturday, family members, who call her Liza, released a statement read by Fletcher’s uncle, Michael Keeney.

“Liza has touched the hearts of many people,” he said, noting an outpouring of support and goodwill for the avid runner and kindergarten teacher.

“More than anything we want to see Liza returned home safely,” he added.

The family has put up a $50,000 reward for information leading to her safe return, according to NBC affiliate WMC.

Police said Mario Abston, 36, was also arrested but he is not believed to be connected to Fletcher’s abduction.

He was charged with drug and firearms offenses.

Kurt Chirbas reported from New York and Hyder Abbasi from London.

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