A 38-year-old man who has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher was recently released from jail after serving a 20-year sentence for abducting a lawyer.
Cleotha Abston was convicted in 2000 for kidnapping Memphis attorney Kemper Durant.
According to the Memphis Flyer, Abston approached the lawyer from behind on Beale Street in Memphis before forcing him into the trunk of his vehicle.
Abston then drove the victim around for several hours before demanding he draw out cash from an ATM.
While in the ATM, Durand saw a housing authority officer and shouted for help, causing the culprit to run away.
Abston was released from prison in 2020, according to the US Sun.
On Sunday, he was charged with kidnapping and tampering with evidence after abducting the mother-of-two.
In addition to surveillance footage showing the ‘violent’ abduction, an affidavit also stated that police managed to identify Abston as the kidnapper after he left a pair of sandals at the scene.
Officers also determined his cell was in the area at the time the kindergarten teacher was taken.
Investigators went to Abston’s last known address and discovered the same black SUV with a broken taillight.
The kidnapper has not revealed where is or what he did to Fletcher but affidavit said that they found blood in Abston’s vehicle.
In a statement after announcing Abston’s arrest, police said: “The investigation into the abduction of Eliza Fletcher is still active and ongoing. Investigators are continuing the search and following all leads.”
Officers were also seen checking dumpsters outside of a McDonald’s restaurant as they looked for Fletcher.
One resident near the fast-food restaurant told KWAM: “They were knocking on doors of houses with cameras to see if we had anything helpful on our Ring. They told us to review our footage from yesterday 4:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and send them anything valuable via a phone number they left with us.”
Fletcher, who was last seen around 4:30 am on Friday, is an heiress to a family fortune from Orgill hardware company.
“We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help police capture those who committed this crime,” the family said in an earlier statement.
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