Man charged with billionaire heiress’s murder arrested for unsolved rape and kidnapping of ANOTHER woman one year ago

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Memphis, TN: A career criminal who was accused of kidnapping and murdering Eliza Fletcher, a billionaire heiress, was slapped with another major crime after his DNA was connected to a rape reported nearly a year ago.

No surprise there.

Cloetha Abston, 38, of Memphis, Tennessee, was arrested last week in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Eliza Fletcher, whose body was found in the woods. After discovery of her remains, investigators arrested Abston less then a day later.

Man charged with billionaire heiress's murder arrested for unsolved rape and kidnapping of ANOTHER woman one year ago
Abston makes court appearance. Screenshot image from Fox News YouTube channel.

According to the Newsbreak coverage of the Daily Mail, which stated:

“Abston was arrested on Tuesday – less than a day after detectives found Fletcher’s body – but was rebooked on Friday on new charges of aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping and unlawful carrying of a weapon.”

It continued:

“Memphis Police said that the new charges stem from a rape kit sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in September 2021, when an unidentified woman filed the alleged crimes to police.”

corroborating evidence

A routine part of the rape kit includes a DNA sample. The kit was placed into police custody as evidence storage. When Abston was arrested, the system was flagged with a DNA hit in its database- leading to a new charge. He was subsequently rebooked.

The Memphis Police Department made a public statement that stated:

“The Memphis Police Department said in a statement: ‘An official CODIS (national DNA database) hit was not received until after the unfortunate event that occurred on September 2, 2022.”

The statement continued:

“Probable cause to make a physical arrest of any suspect did not exist until after the CODIS hit had been received.”

The Eliza Fletcher Murder Recap

Eliza Fletcher was a 34-year-old pre-kindergarten teacher at a Memphis Christian school. Fletcher comes from a wealthy family that built its fortune by founding a private hardware company and is a staple within the community.

Fletcher’s late grandfather, Joseph Orgill, built the hardware supply company, Orgill, Inc. It currently employs over 5,500 people and is valued at over 3 billion dollars.

Forbes listed Orgill, Inc. as the worlds 143rd largest private company in 2021.

Fletcher, an avid and competitive runner, was on a routine early morning jog on Friday, September 5th when she allegedly crossed paths with Abston driving a black SUV.

Police allege the Abston made a planned and calculated decision to kidnap her. Video footage showed a black SUV forcibly placing Fletcher inside the vehicle.

This is atypical with career criminals, which adds a disturbing layer to the heinous act. A majority of career criminals are impulsive and reactionary, committing crimes with little thought or planning to meet an immediate need- like quick cash, or sexual gratification.

Man charged with billionaire heiress's murder arrested for unsolved rape and kidnapping of ANOTHER woman one year ago
Image courtesy of the Memphis Police Department

A Fox News press release stated:

“Abston allegedly camped out in the area for about 24 minutes before Fletcher was taken. Police say surveillance cameras recorded him sprinting out of a GMC Terrain SUV and forcibly grabbing Fletcher around 5:30 a.m. In the ensuing struggle, he lost his Champion slides at the scene, and police found his DNA on them, according to an arrest affidavit.”

The Fox News column continued:

“Police found her body Monday behind a vacant home close to Abston’s brother’s apartment, where witnesses told investigators they saw him washing out the SUV with chemical cleaner.” 

Investigators were examining tire marks when they came across the unmistakable smell of human decay. They followed the scent which led them to the body of Fletcher.

Fletcher left behind her husband and two young sons.

Abston, a Career Criminal

Abston, who is no stranger to the criminal justice system, started at an early age.

According to the Newsbreak column, it stated:

“Now 38, he was just 11 when he first appeared in Shelby County Juvenile Court, charged with theft of property $500 or less. Court documents reveal that he was then convicted of raping a man when he was a teenager, and was placed in the custody of Shelby County’s Youth Services Bureau. He was detained 16 times from October 1995 to May 2000 for rape, aggravated assault and unlawful possession of a weapon.”

Man charged with billionaire heiress's murder arrested for unsolved rape and kidnapping of ANOTHER woman one year ago
Image screenshot from Fox News YouTube channel.

It continued:

“Two weeks after he was released from the youth services bureau to his mother’s care, he was transferred to adult court for the 2000 kidnapping lawyer Kemper Durand. Abston was only 16-years-old when he and an accomplice kidnapped Durand, threw him into his own trunk, and tried to force him to withdraw money at a gas station ATM.”

Tennessee is one of the few states that still uses the death penalty. Prosecutors have publicly stated that the death penalty is not ruled out at this point.

If this case doesn’t qualify for the death sentence, what would?

 

Man charged with billionaire heiress's murder arrested for unsolved rape and kidnapping of ANOTHER woman one year ago

This kidnapping victim lucked out thankfully.

Kidnapped girl escapes, leads police to gruesome crime scene, illegal immigrant suspect

Posted August 4, 2022

TALLAPOOSA COUNTY, AL – On Tuesday, August 2nd, an obviously distraught 12-year-old girl was seen walking down a road by a passing motorist.

That individual stopped to help her and called police, waiting with her until they arrived.

“We try to preach this, if you see something you need to say something,” Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett said of this good Samaritan.

“You don’t need to go down the road and say, ‘What should I have done’ and then you find out this happened, because I’m sure that there’s more motorist who passed her that day.”

That parable was told by Jesus and is found in Luke Chapter 10 (verses 29-37). It speaks of a man who was robbed, beaten and left for dead. He was seen on the road by two individuals who passed him by.

But the third man, a Samaritan, showed mercy and stopped what he was doing to help.

When authorities arrived, they spoke with the girl and paramedics took the girl from the scene to get medical treatment.

Using the information they received from the victim, they began to investigate, finding a grizzly situation involving not only the girl, but also her mother and 14-year-old brother.

What they were able to determine led to the arrest of the boyfriend of the deceased adult female, 37-year-old Jose Paulino Pascual-Reyes, who is believed to be an illegal alien who was previously deported, according to Fox News.

The girl was never reported as or considered a missing person.

According to NBC News, he is now charged with three counts of capital murder, two counts of abuse of a corpse, and one count of first-degree kidnapping.

He is being held in the Tallapoosa County jail. He appeared for a bond hearing on Wednesday. The judge ordered him held without bail.

While many of the horrific details have not been released, authorities have said that one of the victims was smothered while the other was beaten to death.

They said that 34-year-old Sandra Vazquez Ceja was smothered with a pillow and her body was cut into pieces to hide the evidence.

The 14-year-old boy appears to have been beaten and kicked until he died from blunt force trauma. He was also dismembered so that his body could be disposed of easier.

Sheriff Abbett said that the little girl was taken on July 24th and spent more than a week tied to a bed post. They believe that the suspect left her alive for the purpose of abusing her sexually.

While Abbett said that the man who is believed to have committed these violent acts kept her in her in a drugged state by forcing her to drink alcohol, she managed to chew her way out of the materials that she had been tied to the bed with, even breaking her braces on her teeth in the process.

It was reported that she had marks on her wrists consistent with having been forcibly restrained.

Sheriff Abbett hailed the girl as a hero for enduring what she did and finding a way to escape, while also discussing just how gruesome this scene actually was, calling it the worst thing he has seen in his 53 years in law enforcement.

“It’s kind of hard to put into words,” Abbett said Wednesday, referring to murder scenes. “All of them are bad, but this is horrendous. I’ve seen lots of lots of homicides and this is horrendous. I would say she is a hero.”

This story is developing. As updates are made available, we will provide them here.

https://fundourpolice.com/

Children must be taught to never talk to strangers.

Report: Kidnapper hits 13-year-old with his pickup, pretends to be an officer and forces the kid into his car

LOS ANGELES, CA – Authorities have reported that a 38-year-old man has been arrested for kidnapping after allegedly posing as a police officer in an attempt to convince a 13-year-old boy to get in his vehicle after hitting him with his truck.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the young teenage boy was riding his bike near Van Nuys Boulevard and Tupper Street when he was struck by a pickup truck that was being driven by Ottoniel Mendoza.

After hitting the boy with his truck, Mendoza allegedly show him a badge and told the boy he was a police officer. He then directed the boy to get into his vehicle. A statement issued by the LAPD read, in part:

“The victim followed the direction of the suspect and got into the suspect’s truck.”

Thankfully, a witness who saw the crash followed Mendoza and contacted the police.

The suspect was quickly located near Sepulveda Boulevard and Tupper Street. Police confirmed that he and another man were inside the truck with the 13-year-old boy. LAPD Valley Bureau Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said in a statement:

“While the suspect was driving around with the victim in the vehicle, he picked up another male and just after that male was picked up, our Mission Area patrol officers found the vehicle and took everyone into custody.”

The young boy was transported to a nearby hospital where he was treated for minor injuries from the crash involving Mendoza’s pickup truck. Hamilton said:

“Fortunately, for us, a community member observed what occurred and called 911 and started following the suspect after he placed him in the vehicle. I sincerely don’t think he had good intentions. I think this could’ve ended a very different way had our officers not located the individual and had that community member not called 911 and alerted us.”

According to police, Mendoza was arrested and booked on kidnapping charges. Captain Matthew Plugge, commanding officer for LAPD’s Mission Area Patrol Division, said that an additional charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer is pending.

Mendoza was released on a $100,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on July 27th. The other man in the pickup truck was interview by police, but was not taken to jail. Hamilton said that it’s too early in the investigation to determine what the motive of Mendoza was or what could have happened.

However, he said that he does believe they would be looking for a missing teen if it wasn’t for a good Samaritan who saw something and did something about it. He added:

“It’s probably likely that this individual saw this victim and saw the juvenile as a target and then created this traffic collision scenario. He took the juvenile into his car in a coercive manner, identified himself as law enforcement and then took off.”

Mendoza’s wife believes that her husband was just “trying to prove he was a safe person to get help from” and that he recently got the security badge from their church. Police, however, are not convinced and fear that this actually might have happened before. Hamilton said:

“Our concern out here in the community is that you may have juvenile victims where this individual attempted to kidnap them for whatever nefarious reasons.”

LAPD, who released a photo of Mendoza, is urging people to look at the picture and pickup truck in case there are any other potential victims who might need to come forward and contact authorities.

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