Tennessee teacher died of gunshot wound to head, autopsy says


MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AP) — A Tennessee kindergarten teacher who police said was kidnapped during a predawn run and killed earlier this month has died of a gunshot wound to the head, an autopsy report released Thursday said. the book showed.

An autopsy completed by the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in Memphis showed Eliza Fletcher, 34, had a gunshot wound to the back of her head and blunt force trauma to her right leg and jaw fractures.

“There are two semi-circular defects in the skull, consistent with a single bullet to the head, with the bullet traveling in a back-to-front (back-to-front) and right-to-left direction,” the report said. I’m here.

Fletcher was driving around the campus of the University of Memphis when he struggled around 4 a.m. on Sept. 2 and was forced into a car.

Cleotha Henderson, also known as Cleotha Abston, was charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the case. Did.

According to the arrest affidavit, the U.S. Marshals Service arrested Henderson the day after the kidnapping after police detected Henderson’s DNA in sandals found near where Fletcher was last seen.

After her body was found, according to another police affidavit, officers said there was a car trail next to the duplex’s driveway that “smelled of putrefaction.”

According to the affidavit, a pair of purple running shorts matching the appearance Fletcher was wearing was found in a discarded garbage bag nearby.

According to the autopsy report, shell casings were recovered from the area where Fletcher was found.

The murder of Fletcher, a mother of two children, has shocked the Memphis community, with a flood of support for her and her family. The church held vigils to pray for her, her family, and runners in Memphis and several other US cities. We held an early morning running event In her honor, a week after she was kidnapped.

After being charged with killing Fletcher, Henderson was charged with raping a woman in September 2021, about a year before Fletcher was murdered.Henderson was not arrested on rape charges before Fletcher was murdered At the time, no evidence from sexual assault kit testing was available. officials said.

Henderson also kidnapped a prominent Memphis attorney in 2000 when he was 16. He spent 20 years in prison for the crime.