Police are hunting the men who abducted a mother and her one-year-old child from outside a destination in a brazen lunchtime heist in Memphis – just days before a billionaire heiress was abducted from the streets of the same city.
According to a Facebook post from the Memphis Police Department, the mother was putting groceries in her car in front of the Target store when she and her child were abducted on Aug. 31.
She and her one-year-old were forced into a car after being threatened by the men, who brandished a pistol and demanded cash.
According to WREG-TV, one of the suspects was in the front seat with the mother, while the other was in the back with her child.
They had the mother withdraw $800 from an ATM at Regions Bank, half a mile down Highway 64.
The horrific ordeal was then over when they released the mother and child afterwards, returned her her card and dropped her off at the same destination where they were abducted. Then she went inside to tell a staff member what had happened.
According to a Facebook post from the Memphis Police Department, the mother was putting groceries in her car in front of the Target store when she and her child were abducted on Aug. 31. Pictured: CCTV footage released by police of one of the suspects
Officials have now released CCTV images of the suspects chasing them as they walked through a Walmart store before abducting the mother and child.
They also shared photos of the car the two men were driving.
Crime Stoppers of Memphis and Shirley County Inc. are offering a cash reward of up to $2,000 to anyone who knows where the suspects are.
Police also shared photos of the car the two men were driving (pictured).
The worrying incident happened days before billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher was taken off the streets of the same city.
Fletcher, 34, is still missing after she was abducted Friday morning while on her daily 4am run near the University of Memphis.
She was last seen at 4.20am jogging on Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street.
After a brief struggle with 38-year-old Cleotha Abston, the car then pulled away and headed west on Central Avenue.
Officials have charged Abston with particularly aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering after Fletcher’s disappearance.
He had followed the 34-year-old while she was jogging at 4 a.m. and waited for her to pass him before grabbing her.
Fletcher, 34, pictured, is still missing after she was kidnapped on her daily 4am run near the University of Memphis on Friday morning
She was last seen at 4.20am jogging on Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street. After a brief struggle with 38-year-old Cleotha Abston, pictured, the car then pulled away and headed west on Central Avenue
Court records show that Abston, 38, is a previously convicted kidnapper: He pleaded guilty to particularly aggravated kidnapping and robbery in 2001.
Tennessee authorities obtained surveillance footage of Friday’s hijacking that allegedly showed Abston “aggressively approaching the victim and then forcing victim Eliza Fletcher onto the passenger side of the vehicle,” the documents said.
“There appeared to have been a fight during the hijacking,” the affidavit said, citing “noticeable damage to the passenger’s taillight area” of the GMC Terrain.
Police said after Fletcher – who is still missing – was forced into the black SUV, “the vehicle then sat in the parking lot with the victim for approximately four minutes before pulling away.”
A neighbor exclusively told DailyMail.com that Abston routinely offered women $100 for sex and stalked others while hanging around the apartment complex where his brother lived.
His arrest comes just over two years after he was released from prison on kidnapping charges. Abston was serving a 20-year sentence in May 2000 for the kidnapping and robbery of Memphis attorney Kemper Durand.
At around 2 a.m. on May 25, 2000, Abston Kemper approached Durand from the back on Beale Street in Memphis, robbed him, and forced him into the trunk of his car, according to the Memphis Flyer.
Abton then drove Durand around for several hours, then forced him into an ATM and told him to withdraw cash. Durand spotted a housing officer in the ATM and yelled for help, causing Abston to flee.
According to the Tennessee Department of Justice, he was convicted of this kidnapping and was released from prison in July 2020.
Kemper Durand died in February 2013 at the age of 73.
In a tribute article published in Commercial Appeal, a friend was quoted as saying Durand regularly joked about his kidnapping.
This friend also said that Durand pleaded leniency for Abston and his 12-year-old accomplice. Durand later said that he didn’t want to “wallow” in the anxiety he was suffering from.
Officials have charged Abston, pictured, with particularly aggravated kidnapping and evidence tampering following Fletcher’s disappearance
In addition to surveillance footage showing the entire “violent” kidnapping, in which Fletcher was forced into a black SUV with a broken taillight, an affidavit showed that police identified Abston using a pair of sandals he left at the scene as the identified kidnapper.
Abton lost the sandals – a pair of Champion mules – in his fight to force Fletcher into the car and authorities were able to return his DNA found on them.
Investigators also determined that at the time of Fletcher’s abduction, Abston’s cell was near where he was kidnapped. The affidavit described an interview with a woman who said Abston’s behavior in the hours after the abduction was “strange.”
The woman said Abston was in a “strange mood” and she saw him frantically cleaning the interior of his car with carpet cleaner and washing his clothes in the sink at his home.
Abston still hasn’t said where Fletcher pictured is or what he did to her. The affidavit states that evidence, including blood, found in Abston’s car led them to believe Fletcher suffered a “serious injury”.
Authorities went to Abston’s last known address and found the same black SUV with the damaged taillight. The affidavit said that Abston was in the doorway when police arrived and that he began to flee but was soon arrested.
Abston still hasn’t said where Fletcher is or what he did to her. The affidavit said evidence, including blood, found in Abston’s car led them to believe Fletcher had suffered a “serious injury”.
“The investigation into the kidnapping of Eliza Fletcher is still active and ongoing. Investigators are continuing the search and are following all leads,” police said in a statement Sunday after announcing Abston’s arrest.
Police were also seen searching dumpsters outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Memphis on Saturday night looking for the kindergarten teacher and mother.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11180627/Mom-one-year-old-snatched-outside-Target-brazen-midday-kidnapping-Memphis.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Mom and her one-year-old are abducted in front of Target in a brazen lunchtime kidnapping in Memphis