Body of Missing Heiress, Teacher Eliza Fletcher Found – Suspect With Criminal Record Charged with Murder

Discovered on Tuesday morning, according to the Memphis Police Department, was the body of heiress and kindergarten teacher Eliza Fletcher, 34. This discovery comes after Sunday’s arrest, of a suspect in connection to the case. The charges for this suspect have been upgraded to first-degree murder.

Approximately 7.5 miles away from where Fletcher was abducted, at the University of Memphis campus, a body was discovered at around 5:07 p.m., on Monday, in the 1600 block of Victor.  Police at 6:49 a.m. on Tuesday, confirmed Fletcher, as the deceased victim.

On Tuesday police, announced that Cleotha Henderson, 38, has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping, in addition to his kidnapping and tampering with evidence charges levied on Monday, in connection with Fletcher’s abduction.

According to NBC News, the suspect was arrested on Sunday evening, after police discovered a pair of Champion slide sandals, within the vicinity of where Fletcher was abducted, that had DNA matching of 38-year-old, Henderson.  Reportedly, the suspect was seen wearing them the night before the abduction.

Mario Abston, 36, Henderson’s, brother, was arrested during the investigation and charged with drug and firearm offenses, according to police. Mario is not believed, however, to have been involved in the murder investigation. Fox 13 Memphis, reported via the affidavit, that after his arrest, Henderson did not reveal the location of the victim. He was expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

According to police, Fletcher was abducted on Friday morning at approximately 4:20 a.m. by an individual in a dark-colored SUV, supposedly a GMC Terrain. This occurred while she was jogging, at the University of Memphis campus, at the 3800 Block of Central Avenue. Police have stated that Fletcher, was approached by the suspect and forced into the vehicle. According to the affidavit, Henderson was seen, by witnesses allegedly, cleaning a dark-colored GMC Terrain, with floor cleaner, hours after Fletchers abduction.

Reportedly, from to court documents, Cleotha [Abston] Henderson, was a violent youth offender, having a long criminal record from his teens, convicted of rape at 14, among other crimes. Sadly, he was released in 2020, after serving 20 years of a 24-year sentence, related to an abduction / kidnapping charge. This violent criminal should have never been released for time served or granted leniency, because he worked while in prison. If he were still in prison – Fletcher might still be alive.

According to the Daily Mail, Fletcher was married to husband Richie, and had two young children. Besides being a kindergarten teacher, Ms. Fletcher was the granddaughter of Joseph Orgill III, founder of Orgill Inc., and heiress to a billion-dollar hardware company.

This is a monumental tragedy, in that a woman’s life was taken by a convicted felon, who should have been behind bars serving his sentence, instead of praying on those in the community. This was affirmed by Shelby County, Tennessee, District Attorney, Steve Mulroy, who agreed in an interview that-

“Probably he [Henderson] should have not been on the street”

– Steve Mulroy, District Attorney, Shelby County, Tennessee

“The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them.”

– Lois McMaster Bujold

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