Autopsy Reveals Eliza Fletcher Died from Gunshot Wound to the Head

An autopsy has revealed the cause of death of a Memphis woman, who was abducted in September while jogging. 

“Eliza Fletcher, 34, had a gunshot wound to the back of her head, blunt-force injuries to a leg and jaw fractures, according to an autopsy completed by the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis,” according to Fox News. 

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City of Memphis Won’t Comment on Lawsuit Filed by Cleotha Abston Rape Victim

The city of Memphis Friday refused to comment on the lawsuit filed against it by the woman who says she was raped by Cleotha Abston, the man accused of abducting and killing Eliza Fletcher.

“We do not comment on pending litigation,” said Arlenia Cole, the city’s Media Affairs Manager.

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Hagerty, Blackburn Introduce ‘Restoring Law and Order Act’

Tennessee’s two U.S. Senators have introduced legislation that would speed up the process of analyzing sexual assault kits after Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher was abducted and killed by a habitual offender two weeks ago. 

“United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the Restoring Law and Order Act in response to the violence plaguing communities across America,” according to a joint press release. “Compared to mid-2019, America’s largest cities have seen a 50% increase in homicides and a 36% increase in aggravated assaults. In Tennessee, Memphis has experienced a series of shockingly violent crimes.”

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TBI’s Average Turnaround Time for Rape Kit Analysis Is 45 Weeks

According to data provided to The Tennessee Star by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the average time it takes for the state law enforcement agency to conduct analysis on sexual assault kits (SAKs) submitted to it by local law enforcement is 45 weeks. 

That figure accounts for SAKs that are reviewed by TBI’s Jackson crime lab. In its Nashville lab, TBI tests and analyzes SAKs in about 25 weeks. In its Knoxville lab, that figure is around 30 weeks. 

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TBI Says Standard Procedure Was Followed in Cleotha Abston Rape Case

In a statement provided Tuesday to The Tennessee Star, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said it followed standard procedure on securing and testing a sexual assault kit (SAK) in a case related to Cleotha Abston, who is also accused of kidnapping and murdering Eliza Fletcher. 

The following is part of TBI’s statement:

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Eliza Fletcher Murder Suspect Charged with Kidnapping, Rape in Unrelated Case

New details have emerged about more alleged crimes committed by the suspect in Eliza Fletcher’s brutal kidnapping and murder. 

Cleotha Abston has been charged separately in an aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping case stemming from September of 2021. He is also charged in that case with unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon.

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Soft-on-Crime Shelby County DA Says Fletcher Murder ‘Isolated Attack’

Despite reports that the suspect in the Eliza Fletcher’s kidnapping and murder has now been charged with a separate abduction and rape in 2021, Shelby County District Attorney, who ran his campaign on criminal justice reform, says the Fletcher incident was an “isolated attack.”

Cleotha Abston Thursday was charged separately with aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping, and unlawful carrying of a weapon stemming from an event that allegedly occurred in 2021, though details were not immediately available.

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Bail Revoked for Defendant in Killing of Eliza Fletcher, After Being Charged with Murder

The defendant in the killing of Tennessee teacher Eliza Fletcher was on Wednesday ordered held without bond, after he was charged with first-degree murder.

“In light of the change of circumstance, I’m going to order that there be no bond,” said a Shelby County Circuit judge. “The $500,000 bond is revoked.”

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Police Confirm Body Found Is Kidnapped Tennessee Teacher, Jogger

Police in Tennessee confirmed Tuesday the body found over the weekend is that of teacher Eliza Fletcher, who went missing days earlier on a morning run.

The Memphis police department on Sunday said it had charged Cleotha Abston, 38, with evidence tampering and aggravated kidnapping in connection with Fletcher’s disappearance early Friday morning.

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U.S. Marshals Arrest Man in Tennessee Jogger’s Disappearance

U.S. Marshals arrested a man in connection to the allegedly “violent” disappearance of Tennessee elementary school teacher Eliza Fletcher, who went missing while jogging early Friday morning.

Cleotha Abston, 38, was charged Sunday with aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence, hours after law enforcement found him inside of an SUV they were searching for in connection to the disappearance. Fletcher, a 34-year-old mother of two young boys and granddaughter of a hardware company billionaire, has not been found.

Authorities arrested Abston after his DNA matched DNA that was found on shoes left near where Fletcher was kidnapped.

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