MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The body of Eliza Fletcher was found Monday night in South Memphis, Memphis Police confirmed on Tuesday morning.
Police officially identified a body found on Victor Street as the missing 34-year-old mother and teacher.
Additional charges of first-degree murder and murder in perpetration of kidnapping have been added for suspect Cleotha Abston, police said.
The body was found during a search in South Memphis near where police say Abston was seen cleaning out his vehicle.
Tuesday morning, Abston faced a judge for the first time since he was arrested.
His bond was set at $500,000.
Abston stood by bailiffs with Fletcher’s family sitting in the front row watching the proceedings. He nodded his head for most of his answers to the judge and only spoke when asked by the judge whether his last name was Abston or Henderson.
After his court appearance, the Memphis Police Department, the FBI, ATF U.S. Marshals, and the District Attorney’s office held a press conference outside MPD headquarters where they confirmed Abston’s charges were being upgraded after the discovery of Fletcher’s body.
Fletcher was a Junior Kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s. A Youtube account shows videos she made for her students during the pandemic. You can view it here.
Fletcher, a 34-year-old mother and teacher, disappeared after she left her Midtown Memphis home and went for a run early Friday morning. Police said she was forced into an SUV on Central Avenue near the University of Memphis.
Fletcher is the granddaughter and heiress of the late Joseph “Joe” Orgill III, a Memphis hardware business owner and philanthropist who died in 2018.
Cleotha Abston has been arrested by Memphis Police and charged with kidnapping and several other charges in connection with the case.