A woman is suing the city of Memphis and its police department, claiming they foiled a rape investigation that could have led to the arrest of a man suspected of kidnapping and murdering schoolteacher Eliza Fletcher.
Plaintiff’s attorney, Gary Smith, 22-year-old Alicia Franklin told The Daily Beast Police knew about the man accused of killing Ms. Fletcher.
“They knew who it was, they did nothing, and as a result, Eliza Fletcher was murdered when [the suspect] Should have been in jail,” he said. “If they had done their job, she would have been alive.”
Ms Franklin claims she met Cliotha “Cleo” Ebston a year ago on a dating app and planned to meet at an apartment complex where they worked before having dinner together.
She claimed in the lawsuit that Mr. Abston held her at gunpoint, blindfolded her and threatened to kill her before driving her to his car. Thereafter, he allegedly made her sit in the back seat of the car and raped her. She says in the lawsuit that she told him she was pregnant at the time, to which she reportedly replied “You all say b******.”
At the time of the alleged rape, Mr. Abston was released from prison in 2001 after serving a 20-year sentence for kidnapping and felony robbery. This prior arrest would have ensured that his DNA was part of the FBI database.
Ms Franklin said she immediately reported the attack to police, provided them with Mr. Abston’s identity information and completed a rape kit.
The trial claims that the rape kit was not completed for nine months, with the final report not being released until a month after its completion. The DNA collected from the kit was entered into the national law enforcement database on 5 September, three days after Ms Fletcher was kidnapped.
“He had more than enough evidence that night when he interviewed me to get him off the streets. But he didn’t,” Ms. Franklin said. good Morning America, “I’m angry. Not a day goes by when I haven’t thought about it.”
Ms Fletcher’s body was eventually found in an abandoned home, where she was abducted. Surveillance footage later showed a man forcing Ms Fletcher into his car. Police later used DNA evidence from objects found at the scene to link them to Mr. Abston. Thereafter he was arrested and charged.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported Fox News affiliate It usually takes 33 to 49 weeks for a rape kit to be tested. tennessian reports that the lab in Jackson, Tennessee receives an average of 350 sexual assault requests each month, which contributes to long wait times.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /