Eliza “Liza” Fletcher, a Tennessee-based teacher whose grandfather, Joseph Orgill III, co-ran the Memphis-based hardware distributor Orgill Inc., was abducted in the early hours of Friday morning while jogging near the University of Memphis campus, The Sun reports.
Memphis Police say a “vehicle of interest” in her abduction has been located, and a man who was inside was detained, but there was still no sign of Fletcher. No further details were immediately available on the man in custody.
While Fletcher’s total net worth is unclear, she is the heiress to the Orgill Inc. fortune; as of 2020, the business is worth over $3.2 billion and ranks at 143 on the Forbes list of America’s largest private companies. The Daily Beast reached out to Orgill Inc. for comment.
Fletcher, who teaches pre-kindergarten, was reportedly exercising around 4:30 a.m. on Friday in purple jogging shorts and a pink top when assailants in a dark SUV pulled up and violently forced her into the car. She was reported missing at around 7 a.m., and upon examining the scene, police officers discovered Fletcher’s shattered cellphone and abandoned water bottle.
Her family is offering a $50,000 reward for any information as to her whereabouts. Fletcher is described as a white, married mother of two, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs 137lbs, with brown hair, and green eyes.
Memphis police were seen towing Fletcher’s family car, a white Jeep Wagoneer, from her home Friday afternoon. On Friday night, deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff's Office spent several hours searching a wooded area of Overton Park, a park about 1.5 miles from where Fletcher was abducted.
The Fletchers are members of the Second Presbyterian Church in Tennessee, which released a statement regarding the abduction via Facebook: “Please join us in praying for Liza’s safety, and that she will be found soon. Please also pray for her family. The Sanctuary is open for prayer through this afternoon.”
According to public safety data, at least 100 kidnapping incidents have been reported in Memphis in 2022 alone.
Fletcher’s pastor at the Second Presbyterian Church said the parish was grieving with her family.
“She and her husband Ritchie are both very active and great leaders in our congregation,” Pastor George Robertson said. “They have two little boys who have come up to me every week and give me a hug.”
“Someday we’ll eliminate this kind of tragedy,” he told Commercial Appeal. “We also grieve the abduction that occurred a couple of days ago near Wolfchase. We grieve all of this kind of violence and evil in our city. It just makes us grieve. We grieve for ourselves, we grieve for the Fletchers and we also grieve for our city. Our whole city is hurting.”
Fletcher graduated from the Hutchinson School in Memphis in 2006, according to the Commercial Appeal. And graduated from Belmont University with a graduate degree in teaching. She is an avid runner and has previously qualified for the Boston Marathon.
Hutchinson high school posted to their Facebook messages of love and an “urgent call to prayer” and stated Fletcher was a “beloved alumna, and we pray for her safety and for her family.”
Her friend Hart Robinson told WREG that anyone with information should call police.
“We want to find her, we don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “If you know anything or saw anything, we just ask for you to come forward.”