MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — A 34-year-old school teacher who went for a run Friday morning is missing and may have been abducted, Memphis police say.
Eliza Fletcher, who lives in Midtown, went out for a run early Friday, according to a City Watch alert. Police say she was seen near the University of Memphis around 4:20 a.m., when an unknown person approached her.
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Fletcher was reportedly forced into an SUV and taken away. The suspect is believed to be in a mid-sized dark-colored SUV, that was possibly heading west on Central after Fletcher was abducted.
Fletcher’s personal items have been found, but she has not returned home, police say. A family friend told WREG her phone was found in the area, which is when officials were alerted.
It is believed the abduction was captured on nearby surveillance cameras. There was a large police presence near Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street, near where she was believed to be abducted.
“You don’t wanna hear that that’s going on. We want to find her,” said Hart Robinson, a friend of Fletcher. “We don’t know what’s going on, but everybody is desperately looking for her and the police here are on it.
“You can see there is a lot of activity, so if you know anything or saw anything early this morning, we just ask that you come forward,” Robinson added.
Multiple agencies are now involved in the search for Fletcher, including the FBI and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Sam Sparrenberger is a student of the university and has spent most of the day in disbelief after learning what happened to Fletcher.
“Me and my buddy were probably one of the first to see the police cars come out, but we had no idea,” Sparrenberger said. “I’ve never heard of anything like it happening. I spent time in colleges. I’ve been to University of Tennessee and the University of Mississippi; I’ve never heard of anything like this happening.”
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 immediately.
Fletcher, who teaches at St. Mary’s Episcopal School, is a mother of two, Nexstar’s WREG has learned. Her family is offering a $50,000 reward for helping to find her.
The Second Presbyterian Church of Memphis also identified Fletcher as a member. On Friday, they asked congregants to pray for her safe return.