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Suspect in billionaire heiress kidnapping is ‘creep’ who tried to pay for sex

A "creepy" man has been charged with the kidnap of billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher after she went missing last week.

Cleotha Abston, 38, is being held on a $500,000 (around £432,860) bond on charges of tampering with evidence and especially aggravated kidnapping of Fletcher, a teacher and heiress to the Orgill hardware company, who has not been seen since her disappearance at 4:30am on September 2.

Abston has been convicted of kidnapping in the past and has been considered a shady figure by neighbours for a long time.

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While staying with his brother, a fellow convicted felon who was also arrested on connected drug charges, the man had gained a reputation for dodgy doings in the neighbourhood.

"He gave me creepy vibes — he would look at you some type of way," one female neighbour said to Memphis news outlet WREG.

"He watched me come on the porch, then came up the stairs behind me and said, 'I will give you $100 (around £86) to f***'", she added.

When she asked if he thought she was a "h** who needs your money" he simply responded that it wasn't like that and he was after some fun.

Latoya, 35, who also lived in the area, said Abston had propositioned both her and her 20-year-old niece earlier this year.

"He kept waving me over to him and was like, ‘I’ve got $100,'" she told MailOnline.

"As far as I know, nobody here have sex with him."

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"He creepy, he really creepy."

Abston had only been out of prison for two years when the events of Friday morning occurred after he was charged with violently kidnapping local attorney Kemper Durand at the age of just 16.

He forced the lawyer into the trunk of a car and only ran away when the victim began yelling for help while withdrawing cash from an ATM, reports said.

According to Abston's recent charge, Fletcher's snatching was similar.

He stands accused of forcing her into a black SUV in a "violent" manner while she jogged in the early hours.

"The investigation into the abduction of Eliza Fletcher is still active and ongoing. Investigators are continuing the search and following all leads," police said yesterday in a statement.

"The vehicle of interest has been located and a male who was occupying the vehicle has been detained. Eliza Fletcher has not been located."

In addition to being the heiress of a $3.2 billion hardware empire, Fletcher is a junior kindergarten teacher and mum-of-two.


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