Kidnapped Runner Eliza Fletcher's Cause Of Death Revealed

By Jason Hall

September 30, 2022

Photo: Memphis Police Department

Eliza Fletcher, who was found dead several days after being kidnapped during her early morning run in Memphis last month, died from a gunshot wound to the head, an autopsy report released and obtained by the Associated Press on Thursday (September 29).

The West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis determined that Fletcher, 34, had a gunshot wound in the back of her head and also suffered blunt force injuries to her right leg and jaw.

“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 report said via the AP.

Fletcher, 34, was reported missing on September 2, having been last seen at 4:30 a.m. in the 3800 block of Central Avenue when she was forced into a dark colored GMC Terrain traveling in an unknown direction.

Cleotha Henderson, 38, who has also gone by Cleotha Abston, was charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in relation to the case of Fletcher's death, having initially been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

Henderson has not entered a plea in relation to the case, but had recently pleaded not guilty in relation to a separate aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon charges stemming from an incident that took place in September 2021, according to the Commercial Appeal.

A pair of Champion slide sandals found near the scene of Fletcher's abduction included DNA matching Henderson, an affidavit attached to a criminal complaint obtained by NBC News confirmed.

Police had confirmed that Fletcher's personal items were recovered in a statement shared prior to Sunday's update.

Fletcher's shattered cell phone and a water bottle were also found on the street in the area where she was abducted, the Daily Beast reports.

Fletcher was the granddaughter of billionaire Joseph Orgill III, who founded Orgill Inc., one of the nation's largest independent hardware distributors, according to Forbes.

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