US city of Memphis: Kidnapped while jogging: billionaire heiress found dead after kidnapping

Editor's Note: This article was updated accordingly after the body was found.

US city of Memphis: Kidnapped while jogging: billionaire heiress found dead after kidnapping

Editor's Note: This article was updated accordingly after the body was found.

At 7:45 a.m. Friday morning, police in Memphis, Tennessee received an emergency call. After his wife didn't return from their early-morning jog after more than three hours, her husband had no choice but to call the police. Even days later, the 34-year-old kindergarten teacher remained missing. On Tuesday, investigators confirmed that they found her body in a dumpster the day before.

As the "New York Times" reports, she was last seen around 4:30 a.m. on Friday morning while jogging near the university campus. As the police announced via Twitter, a dark SUV stopped next to her. Video surveillance footage shows a stranger getting out of the SUV and pulling the young mother into the car. "There seemed to be a fight," the US newspaper quoted the court documents as saying. Almost two hours later, a cyclist found the kidnapped kidnapped cell phone and a pair of sandals nearby.

A DNA comparison on the sandals brought the authorities to the track of a 38-year-old man. In the course of the subsequent manhunt, the police arrested the suspect. His employer confirmed that the arrested person was driving the SUV on the surveillance videos. The evaluation of the mobile phone data also showed that the suspect was in the vicinity of the crime scene at the time in question. However, the man himself refused to tell investigators the whereabouts of the victim.

"It is believed and supported by the facts and physical evidence that she sustained serious injuries," the court filing said. "In addition, it is likely and evident from witness testimony that these injuries left traces, e.g. blood, in the vehicle that the defendant cleaned."

The suspect had already been convicted in 2001 for "particularly serious kidnapping" and serious robbery and was only released in November 2020. After his arrest, the 38-year-old was initially charged with kidnapping and tampering with evidence, and after the body was found also with murder.

His brother, who is two years his junior, was also arrested but, according to the police, is not connected to the kidnapping. Instead, he was charged with possession of drugs and weapons. That morning, his brother behaved "very strangely" and washed his clothes in the sink.

On Monday, police said they had found an unidentified body near the suspect's brother's home. According to media reports, investigators confirmed on Tuesday that the dead person was the missing 34-year-old.

The dead woman was the heir to a Memphis-based multi-billion dollar company. According to Forbes, the company is the nation's largest independent hardware and home improvement distributor and ranks 143rd among the largest privately held companies in the United States with 2021 sales of $3.2 billion.

The 34-year-old worked as a kindergarten teacher and was a mother of two children herself. The family had offered a $50,000 reward for information.

Quellen: "New York Times (1)"; "New York Times" (2) "Washington Examiner"; "CBS News"

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