MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department (MPD) confirm the body found in South Memphis Monday evening is Eliza Fletcher, 34.
Suspect Cleotha Abston now faces additional charges of first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping, MPD said.
In his first court appearance, Cleotha Abston told the judge he cannot afford to make his $500,000 bond and cannot afford an attorney.
Authorities discovered a body while searching for Fletcher, a Memphis mother and teacher who police said was abducted while jogging near the University of Memphis on September 2, sources said.
The deceased body was found in an area near Victor Street and Person Avenue in South Memphis around 5 p.m.
Police have not confirmed a cause of death.
Abston is due in court Tuesday morning.
PHOTOS: Body found during search for Eliza Fletcher, police say
The body was discovered within walking distance from the Longview Gardens apartments, the place where Fletcher’s alleged kidnapper, 38-year-old Cleotha Abston, was said to have been seen cleaning a GMC Terrain hours after the mother of two and teacher was abducted.
Authorities said that was the same GMC Terrain used to kidnap Fletcher in the area on Central Avenue and Zach Curlin.
Abston was arrested two days after Fletcher’s abduction on September 4 and charged with kidnapping Fletcher, though Memphis Police said that Abston refused to give them her location.
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According to authorities, sandals were found near Fletcher’s water bottle and cell phone after she was abducted. DNA on those sandals matched Abston and Abston was seen wearing them the night before Fletcher’s abduction, according to police.
An arrest affidavit for Abston also claims that his cell phone was found to be in the area of Central Avenue and Zach Curlin, where Fletcher was abducted, around the same time that the mother of two boys and St. Mary’s teacher was kidnapped.
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Court records show that Abston was previously charged with aggravated kidnapping in June of 2000. He was sentenced to 24 years but was eligible for release after 85 percent of that sentence was served.
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