Man accused in abduction, murder of Eliza Fletcher appears in court on unrelated theft charge

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man accused in the abduction and murder of Eliza Fletcher appeared in court again Monday morning for a separate case.

Cleotha Henderson, 38, was in court at 201 Poplar for a theft incident that happened the day before Fletcher was kidnapped.

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On Thursday, Sept. 1, a woman reported to Memphis Police that her CashApp and Wisely Card were being used at gas stations without her knowledge or consent.

The woman told police that she left her wallet at work, at a Malco on Germantown Road. When investigators reviewed video from the movie theatre, they said they saw a member of a cleaning service take her wallet, an arrest affidavit shows.

The manager of the cleaning service identified the person who took the wallet as Henderson, police said.

Investigators were able to recover footage showing Henderson using the cards at gas pumps, according to the affidavit.

In all, Henderson took $910.80 from the victim, police said.

In connection to the case, he faces charges of identity theft, theft of property $1,000 or less, and fraudulent use/illegal possession of credit/debit cards.

RELATED: New details surrounding the death of Eliza Fletcher released

Eliza Fletcher was abducted Sept. 2 around 4:20 a.m. while running near the University of Memphis, according to the Memphis Police Department (MPD).

Two days later, Henderson was arrested and charged in her kidnapping.

He was given a $500,000 bond for the charges of especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with or fabricating evidence in connection to Fletcher’s abduction.

On Sept. 5, investigators discovered her body near a vacant home in the 1500 block of Victor Street in South Memphis.

Investigators also found a discarded trash bag near a home on S. Orleans Street where Henderson had been with his brother.

The bag contained purple running shorts that were consistent with the ones Fletcher was last seen wearing the day she was abducted, records show.

Henderson faces additional charges of first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping, MPD said.

During his first court appearance last week, he told the judge he could not make bond or hire an attorney.

Fletcher was a mother to two young boys and a teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School. Her funeral was held Saturday at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis.

Henderson is scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 19.

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