MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Eliza Fletcher died due to a gunshot wound to the back of the head and blunt force injury to the head, according to an autopsy report obtained Thursday. The report was dated September 27.
Her manner of death was judged as a homicide by a forensic pathologist with the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center. Fletcher was out for a run near the University of Memphis on the morning of September 2 when she was allegedly confronted, kidnapped, and killed.
Her body was found on September 5 outside an abandoned house in South Memphis. A shell casing was found at the scene, according to the report.
Nexstar’s WREG spoke with Jerry Fransico, a former medical examiner in Shelby County, about the findings. “With the onset of the gunshot wound, death would have occurred rather quickly,” Fransico said.
The report also said Fletcher had bruises on her right thigh and leg. She also had extensive facial injuries. “It’s described as a fracture to the maxillae which is the upper part of the face,” Fransico said.
The toxicology report notes there was fentanyl in her system. However, the report did not say how long the fentanyl had been in Fletcher’s body or if she had been sexually assaulted. Cleotha Abston-Henderson is charged with the abduction and murder of the 34-year-old Memphis mother and teacher.