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Man charged after heiress allegedly kidnapped and forced into SUV while jogging

Police investigating the disappearance of a missing Tennessee heiress who was allegedly kidnapped and forced into an SUV while jogging, have charged a man.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, has been missing since Friday morning after going for her regular morning run near the University of Memphis.

The Memphis Police Department said on Sunday 38-year-old Cleotha Abston has been charged with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence in the disappearance of Ms Fletcher.

The development comes after the woman’s family offered a $50,000 (£43,000) reward on Friday night through Crimestoppers for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for her disappearance.

While Ms Fletcher has not been found, Memphis police said in an arrest affidavit they have evidence that leads them to believe she was seriously injured in the abduction near the university campus.

“We look forward to Eliza’s safe return and hope that this award will help police capture those who committed this crime,” Ms Fletcher’s family said.

At a news conference on Saturday, police said security video evidence of a possible kidnapping raised the case’s priority level from a missing person to an abduction.

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Family members released a statement read by Ms Fletcher’s uncle, Michael Keeney.

“Liza has touched the hearts of many people,” he said, noting an outpouring of support and goodwill.

“The family has met with police, and we have shared with them all the information we know. More than anything, we want to see Liza returned home safely.”

Ms Fletcher is the granddaughter of the late Joseph “Joe” Orgill III, a Memphis hardware businessman and philanthropist, according to news outlets.

The mother-of-two is described as being 5ft 6in with brown hair and green eyes. She was last seen wearing a pink jogging top and purple running shorts.

Officers canvassed the area where she was abducted and combed through her home, searching for clues and collecting evidence, news outlets reported.

Authorities left her home with a laptop and garden shears and towed away a cream Jeep Wagoneer, WMC-TV reported.

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