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Woman forced into SUV and abducted while jogging in Tennessee, say police

Authorities in Tennessee are searching for a woman who police said was abducted and forced into a vehicle while she was jogging near the University of Memphis campus.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was last seen at about 4.20am on Friday, Memphis police said. She was jogging when a man approached her and forced her into an SUV after a brief struggle, university police said. She was reported missing when she did not return home from her regular morning run, authorities said.

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.

Tips? Call @MEM_PoliceDept at 901-528-2274 or 901-545-2677, or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/HpTfQbKjAy

— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) September 2, 2022

“Upon arriving on the scene, officers were advised that a female was jogging in the area at approximately 4.20am when an unknown individual approached her,” police said in a press release. “The female was reportedly forced into an SUV and taken from the scene.”

Fletcher’s mobile phone and water bottle were discovered in front of a house owned by the university, police said.

Memphis police and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are searching for Fletcher. News outlets reported that she is a teacher at a private school.

She is described as being 5ft 6ins tall with brown hair and green eyes, and was wearing a pink jogging top.

Fletcher’s family is offering $50,000 to anybody who comes forward with additional information about her abduction, Fox13 reports.

“We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help police capture those who committed this crime,” read a statement from the family reported by Fox 13.

News outlets report that Fletcher is the granddaughter of Joseph Orgill III, a hardware supply magnate who was based in Memphis. According to the Orgill company website, the company employs 5,500 people and has annual sales of $3bn.

Fletcher is also a kindergarten teacher at St Mary’s episcopal school. According to school head teacher, Albert Throckmorton, school administrators have not informed the younger students about Fletcher’s abduction but are offering counsellor and chaplain support to older students who are learning about the news.

In a Facebook post, the school pleaded for help in finding Fletcher, saying: “In cooperation with local and state authorities, we are asking for your help locating our beloved JK teacher Liza Fletcher.”

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