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Mississippi runners gather to finish Eliza Fletcher’s run one week after abduction

Eliza Fletcher
RunStrong, a running group out of Brandon, gathered Friday morning to finish Eliza Fletcher's run

It was around 4:20 a.m. last Friday when Eliza Fletcher, a 34-year-old Memphis schoolteacher and mother of two, started out on her usual morning run. Tragically, she was kidnapped and later murdered.

On Friday morning, exactly one week after the incident, runners from across Mississippi paid tribute to Fletcher by finishing her run. One of the groups that participated was RunStrong, a running group out of Brandon.

“When something like this happens to someone in our running community – she was one of our own because she was a runner – it just shocks everybody,” Claire Simmons Jungling, a member of RunStrong, said. “Obviously, we can’t do anything for her, but we can come together, and we can honor her memory.”

At the time of her abduction, Fletcher was just 1.8 miles into a 10-mile run.

“Our whole goal was to finish her miles for her that she didn’t get the chance to finish,” Jungling continued. “It was an emotional morning.”

Fletcher’s body was found on Monday. Police have since charged Cleotha Abston, 38, in connection with the kidnapping and murder.

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