A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the rescue of a kindergarten teacher and heiress to a billion-dollar fortune who was abducted early Friday in Memphis while out for a jog.
Eliza Fletcher, 34 and a mom of two, was snatched around 4:30 a.m. as she ran near the University of Memphis. Surveillance video captured her being pushed into dark SUV on Thursday. She is the granddaughter of the late hardware wholesale tycoon Joseph Orgill III, founder of the privately-held Orgill Inc.
“We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help police capture those who committed this crime,” the family said in a statement.
Have you seen this woman or vehicle?
Eliza Fletcher was abducted this morning in midtown Memphis while running.
She was forced into a vehicle. There is no known direction of travel.
— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) September 2, 2022
Fletcher was reportedly grabbed early Friday morning on a residential street by an unknown person and forced into the vehicle in a frightening sequence caught on camera. Police found her water bottle and smashed cell phone at the scene. The FBI is working the case along with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Fletcher lives in Memphis with her husband of about eight years, Richard Fletcher III and their two children. Richard Fletcher has frequently posted on Instagram to mark milestones in the couple’s eight-year marriage. In a March 2021 Instagram post, he alluded to some past problems in their union.
“Yesterday marked 7 years married to this beauty!” he wrote. “If you were to ask us at year 3 if we would make it to 7 we probably would of said NO! We apparently weren’t given the memo that a healthy marriage is not going to come easy. Luckily, we put God/Recovery first, we were both willing to believe in each other, and asked for help.”
“We are so thankful for individual counseling, couples counseling, recovery and friends! We can honestly say we wouldn’t have it any other way!” he wrote.
Fletcher is an experienced runner who once posted a time of three hours, 26 minutes in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon.
Fletcher has brown hair and green eyes and is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 137 pounds. She was last seen wearing a pink athletic top and purple running shorts.
The kidnapping has jarred the school and Fletcher’s Midtown community.
“We have not told our younger students about Mrs. Fletcher,” St. Mary’s Episcopal School Principal Albert Throckmorton said in a statement. “We are supporting the older students as they learn of this news.”
A Facebook group called “Eliza Fletcher Missing in Memphis, Tennessee” already had thousands of followers a day after her abduction.