MEMPHIS, Tenn. (NewsNation) — New details in the abduction of Eliza Fletcher were revealed Sunday morning when NewsNation affiliate WREG obtained a copy of the police affidavit. The records indicate that the abduction was violent and caught on camera.
A man riding his bike around 6:45 a.m. on Sept. 2 discovered Fletcher’s cell phone and a pair of Champion brand slides. WREG reported the items were later turned over to the Memphis Police for testing and analysis.
Police said surveillance footage showed a man violently and quickly approach Fletcher before forcing her into the passenger side of a GMC Terrain with passenger-side tail light damage.
According to police records, the vehicle sat in the parking lot for 4 minutes before driving away. Records also state the GMC Terrain in question was seen 24 minutes before the abduction in surveillance footage.
“At this point in the investigation, Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with Especially Aggravated Kidnapping and Tampering with Evidence,” the Memphis police tweeted.
Cleotha was detained on Saturday in connection to Fletcher’s abduction.
Investigators also managed to recover surveillance video showing Abston wearing the same slides days before the abduction. In addition, investigators tracked Abston’s cell phone number and location history, which placed him in the vicinity of the abduction at approximately the same time it happened.
When authorities arrived at Abston’s last known address on Saturday, they found the GMC Terrain in question, with passenger-side tail light damage backed into a parking space.
Abston immediately tried to run from the police but was eventually captured by the U.S. Marshals.
Investigators also interviewed a woman who said after the abduction, Abston was behaving in an odd manner. The witness advised investigators Abston was in a strange mood and vigourously cleaning the interior of his car with carpet cleaner as well as washing his clothes in the house’s sink.
After his arrest, Abston refused to provide Fletcher’s location.
Fletcher remains missing and investigators continue a rigorous search with speculation Fletcher suffered serious injury during the abduction.
According to police records, “As the abduction was violent with, as captured on video, the suspect waiting for, then rushing toward the victim, then forcing the victim into the vehicle, 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, e.g. blood, in the vehicle that the Defendant cleaned.”
A second person has been charged during the investigation but is not believed to be connected to Fletcher’s abduction.
Police said 36-year-old Mario Abston was charged with “Possession of a Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Manufacture & Sell Fentanyl, Possession of a Controlled Substance w/ Intent to Manufacture and Sell Heroin, & Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony.”
Memphis police, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI have been urgently searching for Fletcher, 34, who was last seen at about 4:20 a.m. Friday.
Fletcher was jogging near the University of Memphis campus when a man approached her and forced her into an SUV after a brief struggle, university police said. Authorities said she was reported missing when she did not return home from her regular morning run.
The mother of two is described as being 5-foot-6 and 137 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink jogging top and purple running shorts.
Fletcher’s cellphone and water bottle were discovered in front of a house owned by the university, police said.
Fletcher is the granddaughter of the late Joseph Orgill III, an extremely wealthy businessman who owned hardware distributor Orgill Inc., a company worth an estimated $3.2 billion, according to Forbes. Fletcher is the heiress of the company.
“We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help the police capture those who committed this crime,” Fletcher’s family said in a statement released Friday night through Crimestoppers.
A $50,000 reward is being offered for information on the case.
Authorities have asked the public for assistance, stating that if anyone has any information concerning the investigation, they should report it immediately to the police.
This remains to be an active and ongoing investigation.
NewsNation affiliate WREG contributed to this report.
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