Eliza Fletcher, the Memphis mother-of-two who was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by Cleotha Abston-Henderson, died after being shot in the back of the head and sustaining blunt force trauma to her head, according to a newly released autopsy report.
The Christian kindergarten teacher had a gunshot wound in the back of her head, blunt-force injuries to her right leg, and jaw fractures, according to an autopsy completed by forensic pathologist Danielle Harrell, D.O., at the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis.
#ElizaFletcher’s autopsy has been released:
➡️ Cause of death gunshot wound & injuries to the head
➡️ Bruises on her right thigh
— Bria Jones (@BriaJonesTV) September 29, 2022
Abston — who prosecutors charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnappings, especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence — has a long and violent criminal history.
“The thing about these sexual predators, it seems it doesn’t matter how much time they do,” John Kelly, a criminal profiler and psychotherapist who has interviewed multiple serial killers, told Fox News. “When they get out, they’re back on the hunt.”
Abston’s criminal history began when he was a teenager and includes convictions for aggravated assault, rape, and kidnapping.
Abston served 20 years in prison for kidnapping a lawyer at gunpoint when he was 16 years old, and forcing the lawyer to withdraw cash at multiple ATMs. He also “committed a juvenile delinquent act of rape against an unnamed suspect when he was 14,” Fox News added.
Fletcher, whose abduction was captured on surveillance footage, was out for a dawn jog on September 2 when the suspect allegedly grabbed her and forced her into a dark SUV.
Fletcher taught at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis. She was the granddaughter of the late hardware wholesale tycoon Joseph Orgill III, founder of the privately-held Orgill Inc. The company has annual sales of more than $3 billion.
Her body was found about seven miles from the crime scene, where police found her water bottle and smashed cell phone.
Abston’s DNA was reportedly found on a pair of shoes known as “slides” left at the crime scene near the University of Memphis. His GMC Terrain also matched the vehicle seen in surveillance video. Abston was seen cleaning the interior of the vehicle and washing his clothes in a sink shortly after Fletcher’s abduction, according to witnesses, one of whom is Abston’s brother.
Law enforcement’s search reportedly focused on an area not far from Abston’s brother’s home and a dumpster police towed away for evidence.
A neighbor of Abston’s told the Daily Mail that Abston once asked her for sex and also propositioned other women in the apartment complex in which he lived.
“When women were around, he would sit in the truck and stare,” she said. “He was a weird pervert.”