Video of Eliza Fletcher, the late beloved Memphis kindergarten teacher who was also the heiress to a billion-dollar hardware fortune, singing to her class during the COVID pandemic, has surfaced, showing how much was lost when her body was found on Tuesday.
Fletcher, a mother of two young boys, was kidnapped early Friday while jogging. “Cleotha Abston, 38, an ex-con who served time for kidnapping, was arrested Saturday in connection with the abduction,” The Daily Wire reported.
“Hey girls, it’s Ms. Fletcher,” the young teacher told the camera as she got down on the floor. “So before we go, I wanted to remind you of something we do at St. Mary’s that’s so special and that I miss a lot. So I want to see if you can join in with me. We’re going to sing ‘This Little Light of Mine,’ okay? Ready?”
Sitting back up on her haunches, she waved her finger back and forth, singing, “This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”
We are heartbroken at the loss of our beloved teacher, colleague, and friend Liza Fletcher. Our hearts are with the Fletcher, Orgill, and Wellford families. pic.twitter.com/41cePIFgos
— St. Mary's Episcopal School (@StMarysMemphis) September 6, 2022
Taking her other hand to cover her upraised finger, she sang, “Hide it under a bushel?” then pulled the hand back off to leave the finger alone, “No! I’m gonna let it shine.”
After repeating the gesture, she continued by waving her finger in a circle: “Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. Shine it all over St. Mary’s school. I’m gonna let it shine.”
After more of the song with similar gestures, she knelt before the camera, saying, “Miss you girls. And you need to let the light shine at your house. And I will see you later.”
Then she leaned into the camera: “But wait! One second: I heard somebody that you might want to meet.” She turned back toward the open door behind her, calling, “Jamie? C’mere girl!”
As her black Labrador retriever came running him, Fletcher lovingly wrapped her arms around the dog, saying, “Look girls! This is Jamie. And Jamie is the girl in our house because there’s two little boys and a Mr. Fletcher and so there’s just me and Jamie.”
“And I miss all of you girls so much,” she stated, then blew them a kiss. “Bye!”
God bless her soul. Video showing Eliza Fletcher singing to students at St. Mary's Episcopal School. Clearly she was a very kind and loving soul #lizafletcher #ElizaFletcher #Memphis pic.twitter.com/eTZ9QQZ0s8
— That Guy Shane (@ProfanityNewz) September 6, 2022
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, and 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.
Greg Wilson contributed to this report.