US police identify body of abducted jogger

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Police, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Eliza Fletcher was forced into a vehicle after a brief struggle, police said. (PA Photo)

US police have said that a body found during an exhaustive search lasting more than three days is that of a woman who was abducted and forced into an vehicle during an early-morning jog near the University of Memphis in Tennessee.

Memphis police said on Twitter that investigators identified the body of Eliza Fletcher (34) a school teacher and granddaughter of a prominent Memphis businessman.

The body was found on Monday after a series of searches for the missing woman, who was kidnapped at about 4am on Friday, police said.

A man approached her and forced her into a vehicle after a brief struggle, police said. Ms Fletcher was reported missing when she did not return home from her regular morning jog.

A man charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday.

Cleotha Abston (38) was arrested on Saturday after police detected his DNA on a pair of sandals found near to where Eliza Fletcher was last seen, according to an arrest document.

Abston will now also be facing charges of first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping, Memphis police said.

Police also linked the vehicle they believe was used in the kidnapping to a person at a home where Abston was staying.

Late Monday, police tweeted that a body had been found in a Memphis neighbourhood but that the identity of that person and the cause of death was unconfirmed.

A large police presence was reported in the area where authorities reported finding the body just after 5pm.

Memphis police had searched several locations with dogs and a helicopter.

Fletcher is the granddaughter of the late Joseph Orgill III, a Memphis hardware businessman and philanthropist.

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