Video footage shows murder suspect Cleotha Abston cleaning SUV after Eliza Fletcher’s murder

Police say Cleotha Abston washed the SUV with a commercial cleaning product after abducting Eliza Fletcher

Bevan Hurley
Tuesday 06 September 2022 23:54 BST
Man appears in court charged with murder of heiress Eliza Fletcher

Grainy video footage that purportedly shows murder-accused Cleotha Abston cleaning a dark SUV in the hours after Eliza Fletcher was abducted has been obtained by Memphis news network WREG.

WREG says the footage was shot outside the home of Mr Abston’s brother Mario Abston on Friday morning, around the time police were notified that Ms Fletcher was missing.

The 95 second clip shows Mr Abston returning to the apartment at Longview Garden, South Memphis in a GMC Terrain at 7.57am on the morning, the station reports.

He parks the vehicle and can then be seen carrying materials to the car from an apartment block.

Grainy video footage reportedly shows Cleotha Abston cleaning an SUV that police say was used in the abduction and murder of Eliza Fletcher

In an affidavit, police say Mr Abston cleaned the interior of the GMC Terrain used in the abduction and washed clothing in a sink after abducting Ms Fletcher on Friday morning.

Police said the SUV showed signs that Ms Fletcher had been severely injured in the attack, and an inspection of the vehicle showed she had lost a significant amount of blood.

Mario Abston also told police his brother was acting “strangely”, according to the affidavit.

Cleotha Abston, 38, was arrested on Saturday by US Marshals and charged with kidnapping the heiress and mother of two. He was also charged with tampering with evidence, which is believed to be connected to his attempts to clean the car and his clothing.

After law enforcement made the grim discovery of Ms Fletcher’s remains on Monday night about half a mile away from the apartment, he was charged with two counts of first degree murder.

In an amended affidavit filed on Tuesday, police said Mr Abston’s SUV was seen on surveillance footage in the area where Ms Fletcher’s body was found.

Mr Abston has refused to speak with investigators, Memphis Police Department chief Cerelyn Davis told a press conference on Tuesday.

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