UPDATE, SUNDAY: A man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping in this case. See updated story here.
WREG will update as soon as more information becomes available.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A 34-year-old school teacher who went for a run Friday morning is missing and may have been abducted, Memphis police say.
Eliza Fletcher, who lives in the 1500 block of Carr in Midtown, went out for a run early Friday, according to a City Watch alert.
Police say she was seen at Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street near the University of Memphis around 4:20 a.m., when an unknown person approached her.
Fletcher, who is the mother of two young boys, was reportedly forced into a a dark-colored GMC Terrain and taken away. The suspect is believed to have headed west on Central.
Fletcher’s personal items have been found, but she has not returned home, police say. A family friend told WREG her phone was found in the area, which is when officials were alerted.
It is believed the abduction was captured on nearby surveillance cameras. Police were gathered near Central Avenue and Zach Curlin on Friday.
“You don’t wanna hear that that’s going on. We want to find her,” said Hart Robinson, a friend of Fletcher. “We don’t know what’s going on, but everybody is desperately looking for her and the police here are on it. You can see there is a lot of activity, so if you know anything or saw anything early this morning, we just ask that you come forward.”
According to CrimeStoppers, Fletcher’s family is offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads police to the suspects.
“We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help police capture those who committed this crime,” the family said in a statement Friday.
Multiple agencies are now involved in the search for Fletcher, including the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Officers canvassed the area where she was abducted and five miles away at her home on Carr Avenue. More than a dozen gloved officers carefully combed through her home, searching for clues and collecting evidence.
Sam Sparrenberger is a student of the university and has spent most of the day in disbelief after learning what happened to Fletcher.
“Me and my buddy were probably one the first to see the police cars come out but we had no idea,” Sparrenberger said. “I’ve never heard of anything like it happening. I spent time in colleges. I’ve been university of Tennessee and the University of Mississippi; I’ve never heard of anything like this happening.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 immediately.
Hutchison School said on its Facebook page that Fletcher was a 2006 graduate, and asked students to pray for her safe return. They confirmed she was a teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School.
Second Presbyterian Church identified Fletcher as a member of the church. The church posted on Facebook that its sanctuary is open for prayer Friday afternoon.
Fletcher is the granddaughter of a wellknown philatrophist and close relative of a federal judge.