The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Memphis Police Charge Suspect With Kidnapping Billionaire Heiress

Posted on | September 4, 2022 | 2 Comments

In 2001, when Cleotha “Pookie” Abston was just a teenager, he already had “a long juvenile record of theft and aggravated assault” before he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for kidnapping a man at gunpoint. Now, he’s been charged in what seems to be an even more serious crime:

A 38-year-old man who spent much of his life in prison has been charged with kidnapping teacher Eliza Fletcher, who has still not been found, Memphis Police announced Sunday morning.
The news of Cleotha “Pookie” Abston’s arrest comes a day after investigators revealed they had located a “vehicle of interest” in the abduction of Fletcher, 34, a married mom of two boys whose grandfather was a wealthy philanthropist.
Fletcher was out jogging near the University of Memphis on Friday morning when assailants in an SUV bundled her into the vehicle and drove off.
Abston, 38, was charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence
. He is being held at the Shelby County Jail. . . .
Police said they arrested a second person, apparently a relative of Abston, but do not believe he is connected to Fletcher’s abduction. Instead, Mario Abston, 36, was hit with gun and drug charges.
“Eliza Fletcher has not been located at this time. MPD Investigators and officers, along with our local and federal partners, continue searching for Mrs. Fletcher,” Memphis cops said.
Fletcher graduated from the Hutchinson School in Memphis in 2006 and got a teaching degree from Belmont University. She has been married for eight years.
Her family has offered a $50,000 reward for her safe return. Fletcher’s grandfather ran Orgill, the hardware supply giant started by his family that is now worth over $3.2 billion.

Information from the police affidavit is ominous:

When officers stopped Cleotha Abston, he attempted to flee but was taken into custody.
Investigators then interviewed a person who stated that after the abduction at approximately 7:50 a.m., they saw Cleotha Abston at the home of Mario Abston, in the 1700 block of S. Orleans Street, a report said. . . .
The person stated they saw the suspect cleaning the interior of the GMC Terrain with floor cleaner and stated that he was behaving oddly, an affidavit stated.
The same information was later given by Mario Abston, the suspects brother, who stated that he too saw the suspect cleaning the interior of the car with floor cleaner, records show.
Both the witness and the brother saw the suspect washing his clothes in the sink of the house.
Mario Abston said that it appeared that the suspect was acting very strange.
Cleotha Abston declined to provide investigators with the location of the victim, police said.
The other man who was arrested, Mario Abston, 36, was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Manufacture and Sell Fentanyl, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Manufacture and Sell Heroin, and Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Dangerous Felony, police said.
Police said he is currently not believed to be connected to Fletcher’s abduction.

So it appears that the suspect’s brother Mario is also a convicted felon, but the really scary thing is the report that “Pookie” was apparently trying to conceal evidence related to the crime — blood?

Obviously, the police believe they have enough evidence to convict Cleotha Abston of kidnapping Fletcher, and if she turns up dead — which now seems the likely outcome — there is little doubt they’ll be able to convict Abston of her murder. It will be a death penalty case.



2 Responses to “Memphis Police Charge Suspect With Kidnapping Billionaire Heiress”

  1. Hold them accountable! – THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL.
    September 6th, 2022 @ 10:26 pm

    […] Also see: Robert Stacy McCain: Memphis Police Charge Suspect With Kidnapping Billionaire Heiress […]

  2. Suspect In Memphis Woman’s Murder Began His Criminal Career at Age 11 : The Other McCain
    September 7th, 2022 @ 8:10 pm

    […] I first mentioned this case Sunday, Eliza Fletcher still hadn’t been found, but Monday afternoon a body was found in an […]