Wednesday, February 1

Eliza Fletcher: Suspect in Memphis trainer’s abduction and demise ordered held with out bond


Shelby County Judge Louis J. Montesi Jr. on Wednesday revoked a $500,000 bond that had been set earlier — when Henderson was charged in the case solely with kidnapping and tampering with proof — and mentioned a full bond listening to can be held later.

Montesi then paused the listening to and mentioned it will resume Thursday, when the decide mentioned he would hear a protection movement about Henderson’s illustration. Montesi didn’t elaborate in regards to the movement.

Body found in Memphis is that of abducted teacher

After Wednesday’s continuing, Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy deflected a reporter’s query about what punishment he’d pursue if Henderson is convicted. A primary-degree homicide conviction carries sentences of life in jail with or with out parole, or the demise penalty.

“It is untimely for us to debate proper now what punishment we’ll search,” Mulroy mentioned outdoors the courtroom.

Fletcher’s disappearance sparked an intense hunt — buoyed by surveillance video that police mentioned confirmed her being pressured into an SUV early Friday whereas she was on a jog — that led to Henderson’s arrest close to his Memphis house Saturday.
Fletcher’s physique was discovered close to a vacant duplex Monday, and was publicly identified Tuesday, authorities mentioned.

The trainer’s demise, which authorities say was violent, has reverberated across the Tennessee metropolis, and nonetheless is surrounded by questions on the place and the way she was killed — and why.

Still, investigators “don’t have any cause to assume this was something aside from an remoted assault by a stranger,” Mulroy informed reporters Tuesday.

As the investigation unfolds, Fletcher’s group is mourning the junior kindergarten trainer and mom of two.

She was “a pleasure to everybody who knew her,” her household mentioned in an announcement obtained by CNN affiliate WHBQ.
Eliza "Liza" Fletcher

“We are heartbroken and devastated by this mindless loss. Liza was a such a pleasure to so many — her household, associates, colleagues, college students, dad and mom, members of her Second Presbyterian Church congregation, and everybody who knew her,” the assertion reads.

“Now it is time to keep in mind and rejoice how particular she was and to help those that cared a lot for her. We recognize all of the expressions of affection and concern we’ve obtained. We are grateful past measure to native, state and federal legislation enforcement for his or her tireless efforts to search out Liza and to carry justice to the particular person liable for this horrible crime,” Fletcher’s household mentioned.

At St. Mary’s Episcopal School, the school and workers began the day in chapel and lit candles in Fletcher’s reminiscence, the college mentioned Tuesday in a Facebook submit.

“We are heartbroken on the lack of our beloved trainer, colleague, and buddy Liza Fletcher,” the St. Mary’s Episcopal School mentioned.

Fletcher was the granddaughter of {hardware} magnate Joseph Orgill III, who died in 2018 on the age of 80. Tennessee-based Orgill has annual gross sales of $3 billion, based on the corporate.
Henderson, 38, was arraigned Tuesday on the preliminary costs — particularly aggravated kidnapping and tampering with proof — and on the time was appointed a public defender to symbolize him.

How the four-day seek for the sufferer unfolded

Fletcher had been jogging in a neighborhood close to the University of Memphis round 4 a.m. Friday. Her husband informed police Friday morning that she’d not returned, authorities mentioned in an affidavit, which initially was filed Sunday and amended Tuesday.

Someone discovered her telephone in a road that morning, and it was given to one in all Fletcher’s kinfolk, who gave it to investigators, the affidavit reads.

Memphis police find unidentified body 3 days after a teacher was violently abducted

Police then discovered surveillance video of that space, which reveals a black GMC Terrain cross by her, based on the affidavit. A person is seen within the footage getting out of the SUV and “aggressively” working towards her earlier than forcing her into the car’s passenger seat, based on the affidavit.

The SUV remained in a car parking zone for about 4 minutes after each individuals have been inside after which drove away, the affidavit states.

Police additionally analyzed a pair of sandals that have been discovered on the abduction web site, close to the sufferer’s telephone. DNA discovered on the sneakers matched Henderson’s DNA, the affidavit reads.

Investigators interviewed Henderson’s employer, who mentioned he drove a GMC Terrain and verified his telephone quantity. Investigators checked Henderson’s cellular phone information, which confirmed he was close to the kidnapping scene throughout the time of Fletcher’s kidnapping, based on the affidavit.

Members of a US Marshals process pressure discovered a GMC Terrain close to Henderson’s house on Saturday morning — and it had the identical distinguishable injury seen within the surveillance footage, and the license plate matched the partial plate data gleaned from the video, the affidavit reads.

The process pressure detained Henderson close to his house Saturday, the courtroom doc mentioned.

Police gathered particulars from two witnesses — together with Henderson’s brother — who say they noticed him performing unusually on the brother’s Memphis home after the kidnapping, based on the affidavit.

Both mentioned Henderson cleaned the inside of the GMC Terrain with ground cleaner, and that he washed his garments within the sink of the house, based on the affidavit.

Cleotha Henderson, right, faces forward during a hearing in a Shelby County courtroom Wednesday.

Body discovered close to vacant house; clothes discovered discarded close by

On Monday, searchers, performing on data from an FBI staff that analyzes cellular phone information, discovered Fletcher’s physique simply after 5 p.m., based on the affidavit.

The searchers, utilizing the cellular phone information, had centered on an space close to an intersection lower than a mile from the brother’s house. The staff smelled an odor of decay coming from an space close to a vacant house, noticed car tracks within the excessive grass close to the driveway and finally discovered the physique on the property, based on the affidavit.

That property was within the 1600 block of Victor Street, authorities mentioned. That’s a couple of half-mile drive from the tackle that authorities gave for his brother’s house, a 7.5-mile drive from the kidnapping web site and a couple of 15.5-mile drive from Henderson’s house.

A bit of greater than an hour after the physique was discovered and about three tenths of a mile away, a detective discovered a trash bag with purple working shorts — in step with those Fletcher was sporting when she was kidnapped, the affidavit reads.

Officers work the scene where Eliza Fletcher is believed to have been kidnapped Friday.

Suspect served jail time in earlier kidnapping case

Court information additionally reveal that Henderson beforehand served a jail sentence for an aggravated kidnapping greater than 20 years in the past.

In November 2001, Henderson pleaded responsible to the cost and was launched in November 2020, courtroom information present.

Henderson had been convicted within the kidnapping of an lawyer in 2000, the Shelby County district lawyer’s workplace informed native outlet WREG.

This month, Henderson is also dealing with costs unrelated to Fletcher’s case, together with identification theft, theft of property $1,000 or much less and fraudulent use/unlawful possession of a credit score or debit card $1,000 or much less, Shelby County jail information present.

Those costs are related to a theft report filed final week by a girl who reported somebody was utilizing her Cash App card and Wisely Card at gasoline stations with out her data.

CNN has reached out to the Shelby County district lawyer and Memphis police concerning the theft costs.

CNN’s Melissa Alonso, Anne Clifford, Jamiel Lynch, Chuck Johnston, Tina Burnside, Hannah Sarisohn and Jennifer Feldman contributed to this report.


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