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Person detained in connection to elementary school teacher's abduction in Memphis, Tennessee, officials say

A vehicle wanted in connection with the abduction of a woman has been found and a person detained, the Memphis Police Department reported Saturday. Authorities are still searching for the woman a day after she was allegedly kidnapped while jogging in Memphis early Friday morning. 

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was running in the city at around 4:30 a.m. Friday when she was forced into a dark GMC Terrain SUV, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) tweeted. It was not clear which direction the car traveled.

On Saturday afternoon, Memphis police reported that the suspect vehicle was located with a male inside. Authorities did not locate Fletcher, however.  

The male has been detained, police said. It was unclear if he was a suspect in the case.

Fletcher is described as a White woman with brown hair and green eyes. She is 5-foot-6 and just under 140 pounds. At the time of her abduction, she was wearing a pink running top and purple shorts.

On Saturday afternoon, shortly after the vehicle was found, Fletcher's family released a statement, read by a man who identified himself as her uncle, and obtained by CBS Memphis affiliate WREG. He read the statement on behalf of Fletcher's mother and father, her husband and children, and her brother.

"We want to start by thanking everyone for their prayers and outpouring of support," the uncle said. "Liza has touched the hearts of many people — and it shows."

He said the family has met with and shared information with the police, whom he said are working "tirelessly" to help find Fletcher.

"More than anything we want to see Liza return home safely," he said. "The family has offered a reward for any information that leads to her safe return. We believe that someone knows what happened, and can help."

Fletcher is a junior kindergarten teacher at St. Mary's Episcopal School, an independent, private, all-girls school in Memphis. 

"We join the Fletcher and Wellford families in praying for Liza's safe return," the school wrote in a Facebook post Saturday.

In cooperation with local and state authorities, we are asking for your help locating our beloved JK Teacher Liza...

Posted by St. Mary's Episcopal School on Friday, September 2, 2022

Anyone with information is asked to contact Memphis police at 901-528-2274 or 901-545-2677, or TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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