Victim says Memphis authorities’ failure to investigate might have cost Eliza Fletcher her life

Published 5:09 pm Thursday, September 22, 2022

The City of Memphis is being sued by Alicia Franklin, an alleged rape victim who said that if it were not for the city’s failure to investigate her case, Eliza Fletcher might still be alive.

Fletcher was the teacher and mother of two who was kidnapped and murdered while jogging near the University of Memphis campus on Sept. 2. The man charged with Fletcher’s murder is Cleotha Abston Henderson, who has also been charged with the 2021 rape of Franklin, based on results from the rape kit used when law enforcement responded to her report.

According to WMC Action News 5, during an interview with Franklin in a hotel in Vicksburg, she said that the results from her rape kit were not completed until 11 months after the evidence was obtained. Furthermore, the lawsuit states that the results were available on Aug. 29, but not entered into the national database until Sept. 5, three days after the kidnap and murder of Fletcher.

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Franklin’s attorney, Jeff Rosenblum, was quoted by WMC Action News 5 as saying, “She’s heartbroken for the Fletcher family. She is upset that her courage was disrespected. … Her courage on the day it happened to call the authorities and subject herself to an evaluation and examination where an assault rape kit was obtained. Her courage was not rewarded with prompt attention to this rape.”