MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — From the sky to the ground, a massive search is underway across Memphis for Eliza Fletcher, a missing mother of two last seen Friday when she was jogging.
Early Sunday morning, Memphis Police announced the arrest of 38-year-old Cleotha Abston. Investigators say he waited for Fletcher, a teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School, to run by him and forced her into a vehicle and then drove off.
Police said surveillance footage showed a man violently and quickly approach Fletcher before forcing her into the passenger side of a GMC Terrain with passenger-side tail light damage. The vehicle sat in the parking lot for four minutes before driving away, police records show.
A police report revealed that DNA from a pair of shoes left at the scene linked back to him. Despite being taken into custody, investigators say he did not provide information about Fletcher’s whereabouts.
“More than anything we want Liza returned home safely,” said Fletcher’s uncle Mike Keeney.
Investigators interviewed a woman who said after the abduction, Abston was behaving in an odd manner. The witness told investigators he was vigorously cleaning the interior of his car with carpet cleaner, as well as washing his clothes in the house’s sink.
Law enforcement spent much of Sunday searching in South Memphis. Police said they received a tip to check out Pine Hill Park, prompting dozens of officers to fill the area.
A mile away from the park officers were also seen removing a dumpster from Longview Garden Apartments, which is where a relative of Abston lives.
Officers later returned to the complex to conduct a manhunt, but did not provide specific details about who they were looking for.
Despite officers stopping at several other locations across the city, Fletcher has yet to be found.
“We believe someone knows what happened can help,” Keeney said. “If you have any information on this crime or Eliza’s location, call the police.”
The family is still offering a $50,000 reward for information about Fletcher’s whereabouts. If you know anything, call CrimeStoppers at (901) 528-CASH.