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Kidnapped billionaire heiress in the US: police find body

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was abducted while jogging in Memphis on Friday. A previously convicted violent criminal is considered a suspect, but remains silent. The police have now found a body.

Kidnapping victim Eliza Fletcher.

AP

In the case of kidnapped billionaire Serb Eliza Fletcher, police found a body Monday in the state of Tennessee in the area where Fletcher was kidnapped. The body has not yet been identified, and no official information has yet been given about the cause of death. However, the Fox13 Memphis broadcaster posted on Tuesday morning (local time) that the body had been identified as Eliza Fletcher.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was last seen jogging near the University of Memphis early Friday morning. Surveillance cameras showed that she was overpowered by a man who dragged her into a dark-colored SUV. At around 7 a.m., the husband informed the police after the mother of two little boys had not returned from jogging.

Fletcher comes from a long-established, very wealthy family in Tennessee. She is the granddaughter of Joseph Orgill, who ran the hardware company Orgill Inc., which employs over 5,500 people and generated $3.2 billion in sales last year. According to Forbes, Orgill Inc is the 143rd largest private company in the country. The company was founded in 1847.

Eliza Fletcher married Richard James Fletcher in 2014 and the couple have two boys. She works as a kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis and enjoys jogging and being in nature. The Memphis Magazine described her as very “natural”, she is outdoorsy, athletic and a warm-hearted person. She also seems to have a soft spot for true crime stories. In a social media post two years ago, she asked her friends for recommendations for their favorite true-crime podcasts, according to the New York Post.

It is not clear whether the heiress was kidnapped for money or for other reasons. According to media reports, the police assume that Fletcher must have suffered serious injuries because of the traces of blood at the crime scene. The family offered a $50,000 reward after the kidnapping.

The police arrested a suspect over the weekend, who they tracked down by comparing DNA and evaluating cell phone data. A cyclist found Eliza Fletcher’s smartphone on Friday morning and handed it to her family. Police investigations revealed that the suspect was at the crime scene. The 38-year-old was sentenced to 24 years in prison in 2001 for kidnapping and robbing a Memphis attorney. In 2020, the suspect in the Eliza Fletcher case was released again. His brother, who was also arrested on Saturday, is free again. So far he has not commented.

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