Cops smelled an odor of decay and noticed car tracks in the grass adjacent to the driveway of the address where Memphis heiress Eliza Fletcher was found, RadarOnline.com has confirmed.
The intense manhunt for the teacher ended at 5:07 p.m. on Sept. 5 at the 1600 block of Victor Street in Memphis, Tenn., when officers located her body in a shallow grave in the rear of a vacant duplex apartment, according to a Memphis Police Department affidavit obtained by RadarOnline.com.
Officers “noticed a set of steps just north of the rear driveway,” the documents charge, adding they located “an unresponsive female lying on the ground.”
Investigators then canvassed the surrounding area and spotted “a discarded trash bag” roughly 0.3 miles away on South Orleans Street.
“The bag contained purple Lululemon running shorts that were consisted (sic) with the ones Eliza Fletcher was last seen wearing,” police added.
In a series of photos, the police tape typically used to cordon off crime scenes has been lifted. But the eerie images show where police located and positively identified Fletcher's body.
Fletcher was jogging in the early morning when she was abducted near the University of Memphis.
A man approached the 34-year-old and forced her into an SUV after a brief struggle.
Surveillance footage showed a black GMC Terrain “passing and then waiting for the victim to run by,” according to the affidavit.
“A male exited the black GMC Terrain, ran aggressively toward the victim, and then forced the victim Eliza Fletcher into the passenger side of the vehicle … there appeared to be a struggle.
“The vehicle then sat in the parking lot with the victim inside for approximately four minutes before it drove off.”
U.S. Marshals arrested 38-year-old Cleotha Abston-Henderson after police detected his DNA on a pair of sandals near where Fletcher was last seen.
He has been charged with first-degree murder, premeditated murder and murder in perpetration of kidnappings, in addition to other counts that include aggravated kidnapping and tampering with/fabricating evidence.
Officials said Tuesday that they “have not gotten very much information" from the suspect.