Horrifying Criminal Record Of Eliza Fletcher’s Alleged Murderer Revealed: Report
Cleotha Abston Eliza Fletcher
Photo: Tennessee Department of Corrections | Memphis Police Department

Cleotha Abston-Henderson, the man accused of kidnapping and murdering teacher Eliza Fletcher in Memphis, Tennessee, has a long and violent criminal history.

Prosecutors have charged the 38-year-old man with first-degree murder, first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnappings, especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

“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 included 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.

Officials said on Tuesday that they have “not gotten very much information” out of the suspect, which comes a day after Fletcher’s body was discovered on the steps of an abandoned home near Victor Street and Person Avenue after she was abducted and subsequently murdered.

Fletcher, whose abduction was captured on surveillance footage, was out for a dawn jog on Friday when the suspect allegedly grabbed her and forced her into a dark SUV. A married mother of two, 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 on Friday 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.

Monday’s search reportedly focused on an area not far from Abston’s brother’s home and a dumpster police towed away for evidence on Saturday.

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.”

Greg Wilson contributed to this report. 

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