Over the weekend, I saw a news story on my Facebook feed in a few different groups.  I’m a “Crime Junkie” so someone posted in there… but I’m also in some running groups, including women-only groups.  The story of a Memphis runner being abducted.

Eliza Fletcher, who is my age- 34, was abducted in Memphis on her morning run.  She’s a mother of two kids and a junior kindergarten teacher. I’ve been trying to keep up with all of the updates with Fox News— here’s a few pieces of the story and my thoughts.

Friday Morning

Surveillance footage showed the moments she was abducted near the University of Memphis, being forced into an SUV. And as a runner, this story just stayed with me. I found myself checking in throughout the weekend, hoping for a positive outcome.

Social Media Response

On social media, I watched as many people almost victim-blame her… asking why she was out running so early, and why she was dressed the way she was. Honestly, that made me SO angry!  First of all, as a busy mom and teacher, that’s probably the only time she had to run. And the woman was an avid runner and even a Boston Marathon qualifier. There’s NOTHING wrong with the woman being dedicated and finding the time to train for something she most likely loved doing.

As far as what she was wearing? Ugh. Don’t get me started!  It should never matter what someone is wearing.  That is NO reason to commit such a horrible act. Plus, if Memphis is as hot as it is here in the CSRA, I can’t blame her for minimal clothing.

Suspect Captured

When I learned she was the granddaughter of a billionaire, I thought maybe someone who hold her for ransom.  I hoped it was just an attempt to get some money, and nothing more sinister.

I was a bit relieved when I saw that a suspect had been captured in the case.  My hope was he would provide information quickly so they could find Liza. And this guy was no stranger to crime.  He’s been previously arrested for kidnapping in the past!

The Outcome

I saw a news story this morning that a body had been found and they were working on identifying the body.  Checking in a bit later, the unfortunate news was posted… it was Eliza Fletcher.

My Feelings

I am first of all… heartbroken for her family.  They have lost a daughter, sibling, wife, mother, friend.  And it came in such a terrible way.  NO ONE should ever have to fear for their life in any situation.  I can’t even imagine how afraid she must have been.

Again, as someone who runs, I am thinking about myself and my own safety.  While I always try to stay aware of my surroundings when I run, it is still possible for something to happen. This story won’t leave me… and I am definitely re-thinking my running routes and how to keep myself safe from now on.

So Many Questions

There are so many more feelings I don’t even know how to express.  As with most crime cases like this, my biggest question is WHY?  What did this man have to gain from taking a life? I just will never understand the mentality behind people who think it’s okay to kill another person.  What goes on in their head? Do they really think they’ll get away with it? So many questions.  Maybe with time, we’ll get some answers from the guy responsible.

The man was in court this morning, and since then he has received additional charges relating to the murder and will be back in court tomorrow morning.

Thoughts and Prayers

In the meantime, my thoughts and prayers are with Eliza’s family and friends as they mourn the life of someone taken in a horrific crime, and entirely too soon.