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U.S. Marshals arrest man in Tennessee jogger's disappearance

Authorities called the abduction "violent" and said Fletcher is believed to have "suffered serious injury."

September 4, 2022 2:17pm

Updated: September 4, 2022 3:53pm

U.S. Marshals arrested a man in connection to the allegedly "violent" disappearance of Tennessee elementary school teacher Eliza Fletcher, who went missing while jogging early Friday morning.

Cleotha Abston, 38, was charged Sunday with aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence, hours after law enforcement found him inside of an SUV they were searching for in connection to the disappearance. Fletcher, a 34-year-old mother of two young boys and granddaughter of a hardware company billionaire, has not been found.

Authorities arrested Abston after his DNA matched DNA that was found on shoes left near where Fletcher was kidnapped.

Memphis police said in an arrest affidavit, obtained by The New York Post: "As the abduction was violent with, as captured on video, the suspect waiting for, then rushing towards the victim, then forcing the victim into the car, where she was confined and removed and continues to be missing, it is believed and supported by the facts and physical evidence that she suffered serious injury."

"Further, it is probable and apparent from witness statements that these injuries left evidence of blood in the car the defendant cleaned," the affidavit continued.

A witness attested to seeing Abston "behaving oddly" and "cleaning the interior" of his car around 8 a.m. Friday.

Anyone with information about the investigation is encouraged to contact Memphis CrimeStoppers.

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