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Autopsy Of Kindergarten Teacher Eliza Fletcher Reveals How She Died

Eliza Fletcher was abducted in Memphis while out for an early morning jog. Cleotha Abston has been charged with her murder.

By Gina Tron
Memphis Teacher Eliza Fletcher Found Dead After Abduction

An autopsy on Tennessee kindergarten teacher Eliza "Liza" Fletcher has determined that she was killed after she was shot in the back of the head.

The report, released this week, states, “There are two semicircular defects to the skull consistent with a single gunshot to the head with the bullet traveling in a posterior to anterior (back to front) and right to left direction,” the Associated Press reports.

The autopsy, completed by the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis, also noted that the 34-year-old mother of two had suffered blunt-force injuries to her right leg, as well as jaw fractures.

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Fletcher was abducted and forced into the back of an SUV while going for a morning jog on a Memphis street on Sept. 2.

Cleotha Abston, 38, was booked on a murder charge shortly after Fletcher was found dead in the back of an abandoned residence seven miles away, one day after she vanished. He has not yet entered a plea for the first-degree murder and kidnapping charges he faces.

Abston’s DNA was allegedly found on a pair of sandals discovered near the site of Fletcher’s abduction. 

A photo of missing person Eliza Fletcher

Following the arrest in the Fletcher case, Abston was charged with the rape of a woman in September of 2021; evidence from the sexual assault kit test was only recently made available, according to the Associated Press.

Additionally, Abston spent two decades behind bars for kidnapping a prominent Memphis attorney in 2000 when he was 16 years old.

Fletcher was an avid runner and Boston Marathon qualifier. Her murder raised ongoing concerns for women’s safety in the running community, the Commercial Appeal previously reported.

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