Eliza Fletcher abduction: Local runners gather in Philadelphia to honor jogger kidnapped, killed in Memphis

A group of local runners went out on an early morning run in honor of Eliza Fletcher, the woman who was kidnaped in Memphis while out on a morning jog and later found dead. 

RELATED: Eliza Fletcher abduction: Body found near area of crime scene investigation

The runners gathered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, a popular end location for runs and races, at 4:30 a.m., the same time Fletcher went out for her run one week ago. 

Authorities say the 34-year-old school teacher was jogging when a man approached her and forced her into an SUV. Her body was found and identified days later and Cleotha Abston, 38, was arrested. 

According to officials, he was released from prison in 2020 after serving 20 years for a previous kidnapping. 

The local runners hosted the run in an effort to support Fletcher and the run organizer Bennet Brookstein, who was attacked while out on a jog in Philadelphia on Christmas Day in 2021

"It just hit me hard. I'm on our local team here for Fairmount and I'm in other groups throughout the country and they supported me," Brookstein said. "Now I can give back as well and that's why I thought about this." 


Many of the runners expressed anger and frustration that Fletcher was blamed for her abduction because of the time of day she was running and because of her summer running attire. 

"It's very infuriating to think that she could be blamed for this. She was just a mom and a teacher and somebody passionate about fitness trying to go about her day. It's very upsetting," Mary Kate Coyle said.