A body found during the investigation into the disappearance of Eliza Fletcher, the 34-year-old woman who was abducted during a run Friday morning, has been confirmed as the missing jogger, authorities said Tuesday.
Police in Memphis, Tennessee, announced Monday that a body had been discovered one day after charges were announced against a man in the alleged kidnapping case.
On Sunday, Memphis police announced that Cleotha Abston, 38, was charged with kidnapping and tampering with evidence in connection with Fletcher’s disappearance.
Following identification of her body, police said additional charges were added against Abston for first-degree murder and first-degree murder in the perpetration of kidnapping. During an arrangement Tuesday, a judge set his bond for $510,000.
Abston told the judge that he could not afford a lawyer and was appointed a public defender.
Police have said that around 4:20 a.m. Friday, a person approached Fletcher, an avid runner, kindergarten teacher and mother of two, and forced her into an SUV.
A pair of Champion slide sandals recovered from the area where Fletcher disappeared contained DNA matching Abston, according to an affidavit attached to a criminal complaint.
Security video from the scene showed “a black GMC Terrain passing and then waiting for the victim to run by,” according to the document. A male then exited the car, ran toward Fletcher and forced her into the passenger’s seat, it said.
“During this abduction, there appeared to be a struggle,” the document said. “The Champion slides sandals were found in this area. The vehicle then sat in the parking lot with the victim inside for approximately four minutes before it drove off.”
A cause and manner of death have not been released.
Cellular records obtained by investigators are alleged to have determined that Abston’s cellphone was near the site where Fletcher was forced into the vehicle.
Officers arrested Abston on Saturday after finding the GMC Terrain with a matching license plate number in a parking lot by Abston’s residence, the affidavit said.
Mario Abston, 36, Cleotha Abston’s brother, was also arrested, but he is not believed to be connected to Fletcher’s abduction, authorities said. He was charged with drug and firearms offenses, police tweeted.
Phil Helsel, Kurt Chirbas, Hyder Abbasi, Nicole Duarte , Mirna Alsharif, Minyvonne Burke and Marlene Lenthang contributed.