Memphis responds to case of victim allegedly raped by Eliza Fletcher’s murder suspect a year before murder

According to a report, the City of Memphis admitted this week that its police department did not take fingerprints at the crime scene where Eliza Fletcher’s suspected murderer allegedly raped her a year before her death.

Among the items were the victim’s purse and cell phone, which the alleged rapist said to investigators had touched.

The department responded with a court document Monday to a lawsuit filed by Alicia Franklin who said she was raped by Cleotha Abston (aka Henderson) in September 2021, but the Memphis Police Department did not properly investigate the attack and allowed her to stay. out of jail.

Abston was charged with kidnapping and murdering Fletcher earlier this year while he was out for an early morning walk in September in Memphis.

ALLEGED CONNECTION WITH 2021 RAPE OF ELIZA FLETCHER MURDER SUSPECT; POLICE DIDN’T REQUEST ‘ACCEPTED’ DNA EXAMINATION

Eliza Fletcher in an undated photograph; Accused murderer Cleotha Abston in Memphis court
(Liza Fletcher/Instagram; Fox News Digital)

Later that month, she was charged with felony kidnapping and rape in Franklin’s trial.

Franklin says she met Abston, whom she only knew by her first name, on a dating app, and that the two agreed to meet at an apartment where she said she was doing maintenance work before going out to dinner before the alleged rape, according to WMC. TELEVISION.

According to WMC, the rape kit stayed on the shelf of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) for a year, and was only sent to a national database after Fletcher’s body was found.

Cleotha Henderson, aka Cleotha Abston, 38, accused of the kidnapping and murder of Eliza Fletcher in Memphis earlier this month, appeared before Judge Montesi on Monday morning, September 19, 2022.

Cleotha Henderson, aka Cleotha Abston, 38, accused of the kidnapping and murder of Eliza Fletcher in Memphis earlier this month, appeared before Judge Montesi on Monday morning, September 19, 2022.
(Karen Pulfer Focht of Fox News Digital)

Franklin said he immediately took investigators to the scene of the alleged attack and gave them information such as his phone number, the name he gave himself and the type of car he was driving, but they did not receive any evidence from the scene.

ELIZA FLETCHER homicide suspect slapped on charges of ‘irrelevant’ kidnapping and rape

The city council, which wanted the case dropped, admitted that it did not collect fingerprints at the crime scene, but said Franklin could only write “CJ” as the suspect’s name.

The municipality also requested that “trivial, arrogant and scandalous allegations” be dismissed if not dismissed.

The booking photo shows Cleotha Henderson, who has spent more than half her life in prison.

The booking photo shows Cleotha Henderson, who has spent more than half her life in prison.
(Tennessee Department of Corrections)

A public information officer from the Memphis Police Department told Fox News Digital in September that there was no likely reason to make “any” arrests until the DNA hit was received.

A TBI spokesperson told Fox News that the Memphis Police Department did not request an expedited analysis of the sexual assault kit from the September 2021 rape claim and that “no questionable information or DNA standards were included in the presentation.”

As the analysis was not expedited and placed in the “unknown attacker kits queue”, a forensic scientist from TBI began examining the sexual assault kit on 24 June and completed the “first report” on 29 August. The unknown male DNA profile was then entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, resulting in a positive match for Abston on September 5. TBI later reported its findings to the Memphis Police Department.

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A spokesperson for TBI told Fox News that when it receives a request for expedited analysis of a sexual assault kit, it usually takes five business days to process “depending on the amount of evidence presented.”

The Memphis Police Department did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment on Friday.

Fox News’ Adam Sabes contributed to this report.

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