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Eliza Fletcher, the missing US teacher and heiress who was allegedly abducted on Friday (September 2) comes from a family that has a £2.8billion hardware empire.
She was last seen jogging by the University of Memphis campus, Tennessee, at about 4.30am before she was taken into a black SUV.
A man, Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged in connection with her abduction with especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence.
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Abston has not given any information on the whereabouts of Fletcher and no motive has yet become clear.
Fletcher, who is the granddaughter of the late founder of Orgill Inc. Joseph “Joe” Orgill III, remains missing.
Orgill Inc. is well known in Memphis, employing over 5,500 people with the company’s leaders big names in the community.
Joe Orgill, who passed away in 2018 aged 80, was a well-respected community member, philanthropist and businessman, an obituary in the outlet Commercial Appeal said.
Despite being a big name locally with huge sums of cash involved, the obituary described Orgill Inc. as an “under-the-radar company,” and that “most people in Memphis have no idea of the scope of Orgill Inc”.
Eerie last photo of billionaire heiress 'kidnapped during her morning jog'
It is now a major worldwide player in the hardware supplies industry, grown from a regional business under Joe.
The firm describes itself as the “World’s largest independently owned hardlines distributor providing retailers across North America and in more than 60 countries throughout the world access to over 75,000 products and industry-leading retail services.”
According to Forbes, it is the 143rd largest private company in the world with a revenue of $3.2billion (£2.8bn), supplying over 70,000 home and hardware products worldwide.
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Founded in 1847, it offers everything from paint and timber to plumbing, gardening and electrical goods.
Historic Memphis says it is the oldest running business in the city.
Eliza is married to Richard Fletcher III – together they have two young children, both boys.
The couple married in 2014 in an elaborate ceremony described by local outlets at the time as “without hesitation” the most memorable wedding of the year, with one reporting “there has been no other wedding like this in Memphis”.
They married in the church where they met and partied afterwards in a huge tent.
Memphis Magazine once described Eliza as a “natural girl – outdoorsy, athletic, and warm”.
She often posted images of her and her happy, active young boys, and regularly shared about delicious-looking meals and trips out to see sites and beaches.
In 2020 she asked followers on Facebook for recommendations for good true crime podcasts.
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- United States
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