MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — WREG has obtained a copy of the affidavit in Eliza Fletcher’s abduction. Police records indicate the abduction was violent and caught on camera.
Fletcher is the granddaughter of the late Joseph “Joe” Orgill III, a Memphis hardware businessman, philanthropist, and founder of a multi-billion dollar company, the Associated Press reports.
Police said a man was riding his bike down Central Avenue at 6:45 a.m. when he found Fletcher’s cell phone and a pair of Champion brand slides. The items were later turned over to Memphis Police for testing and analysis.
Police said surveillance footage showed a man violently and quickly approaching 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.
The TBI performed a DNA test on the slides and found that they belonged to Cleotha Abston after his information matched that in the CODIS (Combined DNA Index System) database.
Investigators managed to recover the surveillance footage showing Abston wearing the same slides days prior to the abduction. In addition, investigators were able to find Abston’s cell phone number and were able to determine his phone was in the vicinity of the abduction, approximately the same time it happened.
When authorities arrived at Abston’s last known address, they found the GMC Terrain in question, with passenger-side tail light damage backed into a parking space.
When Abston saw authorities, he was standing in a doorway and immediately tried to run, but he was eventually captured by the US 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 vigorously 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.
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.”
Court documents show that Abston is due to appear on Tuesday, September 6.
Sunday UPDATE: Memphis Police have confiscated the dumpster outside Abston’s brother’s apartment complex.