The slain Memphis teacher never finished her morning run before she was abducted. More than 2,000 people will finish it for her Friday morning

Fletcher, 34, was violently abducted on September 2 in Memphis, Tennessee, and his body was found on Monday behind an empty campus.

On Friday, his community will complete the race for him.

More than 2,100 people have signed up for a program called “Let’s Finish Liza Run” to run Fletcher’s route. The race was organized on Facebook and the number of participants has doubled since Thursday evening. Another 3,200 people have responded that they are “interested” in participating.

“We created this race as a way to honor Liza and deal with her feelings,” the event’s description read on the Facebook event page. “Our goal is to stand up for women in the Central South and emphasize that women should be able to run safely at any time of the day.”

memphis police department tweeted They will support the event with “an increased presence in the area”.

Road closures and detours will be effective from 4:00 a.m., when participants begin to gather, until 7:30 a.m., when they expect the race to be complete and the route cleared.

Fletcher was a junior kindergarten teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School in Memphis. Earlier this week, school teachers and staff lit candles in his memory.

The 34-year-old was also a wife and mother of two children.

Fletcher’s funeral will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, according to his obituary.

“Liza was a light to all who knew her. Her infectious smile and laughter could light up any room. Liza was pure and innocent of heart, who saw her as the best for everyone she met,” her The obituary, posted by Canal Funeral Director Thursday, read.

A Memphis shooting rampage - part of which was livestreamed - left 4 people dead and 3 injured, and one suspect is in custody
Thursday’s court appearance of Fletcher’s death and the man accused of her murder coincides with another wave of shock and grief for Memphis: a 19-year-old man opened fire across the city on Wednesday, police say Four people died and three were injured. other.

The man, identified as Ezekiel Kelly, will appear in court on Friday, according to prison records. He is being charged with first-degree murder, although officials said they anticipate additional felony charges.

Fletcher’s murder suspect appears in court

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering Fletcher was identified as 38-year-old Cliotha Henderson. He appeared in Shelby County court on Thursday after he filed a motion for a change of attorney because of an alleged conflict of interest.

Judge Louis J. Montesi Jr. said the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office, which was appointed this week in Henderson’s case, had previously represented him in a kidnapping conviction more than 20 years ago.

Cliotha Ebston has been charged with kidnapping and tampering with evidence in the disappearance of Tennessee teacher Eliza Fletcher.

Monteci said Henderson’s former attorney would not be involved in his current case, but ruled that “there was no ground or grounds to disqualify the public defender as an attorney.”

The judge said Henderson would remain in the Shelby County Jail without bond for the murder charge against him.

Henderson initially faced charges of kidnapping and tampering with evidence, and prosecutors later added a charge of first-degree murder to the kidnapping offense.

Henderson was reportedly passed by Fletcher in an SUV while she was jogging in the neighborhood near the University of Memphis. Officials say Henderson got out of the vehicle and followed Fletcher until he forced her into the passenger seat around 4 a.m. on Sept.

Suspect and unchained death ordered in kidnapping of Memphis teacher

It is unclear at this point what kind of sentence prosecutors plan to pursue if Henderson is convicted.

“It is too early for us to discuss what punishment we are seeking,” Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy said Wednesday. In Tennessee, a first-degree murder sentence carries a sentence of life in prison – with or without parole – or the death penalty.

It’s also not clear whether a conviction more than 20 years after Henderson’s kidnapping would have any effect in the case. The Shelby County district attorney’s office told local news outlet WREG that Henderson pleaded guilty to kidnapping a lawyer in 2000 and was released in 2020.

The search began when Fletcher did not return from the run.

Authorities said in an affidavit that the search for Fletcher began last Friday after her husband reported that she did not return home from her regular morning walk.

According to the affidavit, the police later found surveillance video of the area, which showed a black GMC area passing by it. According to the affidavit, the footage shows a man getting out of the SUV and running towards it “aggressively”. The affidavit said that the SUV left the spot about four minutes after the two men entered.

Police also analyzed a pair of sandals found near the victim’s phone at the abduction site. According to the affidavit, the DNA found in the shoes matched with Henderson’s DNA.

Henderson’s employer told investigators he drove to the GMC area and confirmed his phone number. According to the affidavit, cell phone records show that Henderson was near the abduction site at the time of the abduction.

The affidavit said members of the US Marshals Task Force found a GMC Terrain that matched the descriptions seen in surveillance video near Henderson’s home on Saturday morning. The court document said the task force took Henderson into custody on Saturday from near his home.

According to the affidavit, two witnesses, including Henderson’s brother, told police that they saw Henderson acting strangely at the brother’s Memphis house after the kidnapping. The affidavit said that both said that Henderson cleaned the interior of the GMC area with floor cleaner and that he washed his clothes in the sink of the house.

CNN’s Aya Elamrousi and Holly Yan contributed to this report.

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