Memphis Billionaire Heiress Eliza Fletcher Died of a Gunshot Wound to the Back of Her Head and Blunt Force Trauma
Alan Butterfield and James Gordon, Daily Mail, September 29, 2022
Memphis billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher died of a gunshot wound to the back of her head and blunt force trauma, an autopsy report has confirmed.
The mother-of-two was kidnapped and violently bundled into the back of an SUV by while out jogging on a pre-dawn jog at 4.30am on September 2.
Convicted felon Cleotha Abston-Henderson, 38, has been charged with kidnapping and murdering the 34-year-old after allegedly forcing her into his GMC terrain.
Her disappearance sparked a four-day search, which led officers to several wooded areas across Memphis.
She was discovered by the steps of a dilapidated one-story property just yards from where police last spotted the vehicle she was forced into.
A bloodstain remained at the bottom of the stairs next to the patch of dirt where her body was found, with flies still swarming the area and locals reporting a ‘stench of decay’.
The autopsy report was released by the West Tennessee Forensic Center on Thursday, according to ABC24 Memphis.
The report found that she died of a gunshot wound and blunt force injury to the back the head. Her manner of death was ruled a homicide.
She also had blunt-force injuries to her leg and jaw fractures, according to the autopsy completed by the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis.
At the time Fletcher, an elementary school teacher was found, her body was in a moderate to advanced stage of decomposition.
A toxicology report also revealed that 10ng/ml of fentanyl was found in Fletcher’s system, according to Action5News.
Fletcher was out running on the University of Memphis campus when she was forced into a vehicle after a struggle about 4am on September 2.
Police said her body was found September 5 behind a vacant home after a massive police search lasting more than three days
In the case of Fletcher’s abduction, Cleotha Abston-Henderson was identified as a suspect in just 18 hours, after a sandal left at the crime scene came back with a match to his DNA.
His DNA was already in police databases due to a prior felony conviction.
Henderson previously served 20 years in prison for a kidnapping he committed at age 16.
Henderson has been charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the case. He has not entered a plea, and his lawyer has declined requests for comment.
Earlier this month, in cities across the country, hundreds of joggers met at the same morning hour Fletcher was kidnapped, to ‘finish her run’ in her honor and make clear that ‘women should be able to run safely any time of day.’
To those who say Fletcher was tempting fate by going out alone so early, in a city considered unsafe, ‘it’s time to stop blaming women for getting murdered while running,’ said Christa Sgobba in a story in Self Magazine.
The violent death of Fletcher, a mother with a big smile who has been described as an exemplary Christian, was quickly branded by some right-wing commentators as a sign of social decay under the left’s leadership.