Police officials in Memphis have officially arrested a man seemingly in connection with the kidnapping of one kindergarten teacher and heiress to a massive billion-dollar wholesale hardware company, as reported this past Sunday.
38-year-old Cleotha Abston was officially slammed with aggravated kidnapping and the tampering of evidence in relation to the disappearance of Eliza Fletcher. The victim, whose kidnapping was caught on surveillance video, was out for a normal morning job this past Friday when the suspected allegedly manhandled her in order to get her into a dark-colored SUV. As of writing, she is still missing.
“The investigation into the abduction of Eliza Fletcher is still active and ongoing. Investigators are continuing the search and following all leads,” explained a statement from the police.
This arrest took place just a scant few hours after police were able to find the car thought to have been used in the kidnapping of Fletcher, a 34-year-old married mom of two.
It is not currently known if a tipster was the turning point that sent the police after Abston, but the family of Fletcher had issued a massive $50,000 reward for any and all information that led to the eventual rescue of the woman.
Fletcher is known to be the granddaughter of Joseph Orgill III, the late hardware wholesale tycoon and founder of the privately-held Orgill Inc. The company itself sports annual sales to the tune of $3 billion+.
“We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help police capture those who committed this crime,” stated the family in a release.
Police were able to discover Feltcher’s water bottle and a smashed cell phone at the scene, which has been labeled the crime scene, next to the University of Memphis. The FBI is looking into the case alongside both the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and local police.
Fletcher makes their home in Memphis with her husband of roughly eight years, Richard Fletcher III and their two children. Richard Fletcher has frequently made use of Instagram to post major milestones marking the news of the couple’s eight-year marriage. Back in a social media post from March of 2021, he seemed to allude to some past problems in their union.
“Yesterday marked 7 years married to this beauty!” he wrote. “If you were to ask us at year 3 if we would make it to 7 we probably would of said NO! We apparently weren’t given the memo that a healthy marriage is not going to come easy. Luckily, we put God/Recovery first, we were both willing to believe in each other, and asked for help.”
“We are so thankful for individual counseling, couples counseling, recovery and friends! We can honestly say we wouldn’t have it any other way!” he stated.