Eliza Fletcher’s parents — Her wealthy family discussed

Eliza Fletcher

Eliza Fletcher’s brief disappearance ended tragically as police found her body near an abandoned apartment building. Fletcher vanished hours after starting her morning jog at 04:00 on 2nd September 2022. According to CCTV footage, a man driving a black SUV stopped, ran after Eliza, forced her into the vehicle, and sped off. 

The police arrested Cleotha Abston, the man they believed responsible for the kidnapping, and charged him with aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence. Following the discovery of Eliza’s body, authorities included charges of first-degree murder and first-degree murder in perpetration of kidnapping. 

Eliza descended from the wealthy Orgill family and was set to inherit the family business

Eliza Fletcher descended from the billionaire family that launched and runs Orgill Inc. The family started the hardware supply company in the mid-19th century. 

Under the stewardship of Fletcher’s grandfather, the late Joseph ‘Joe’ Orgill III, the company became a worldwide supplier of hardware goods. According to Forbes, Orgill Inc. posted revenue of $3.2 billion in 2021. 

Eliza’s mother, Adele Orgill, was one of Orgill III and Irene Leatherman’s four daughters. Adele married James Beasley Wellford and welcomed two children: Gil Wellford in 1982 and Eliza Fletcher in 1987. 

Fletcher’s family didn’t spare any expense making sure they gave their daughter her dream wedding. Eliza married Richard Fletcher III in 2014 at the Second Presbyterian Church, where the couple met. 

“Fortunately, her gracious and loving parents, Adele and Beasley Wellford, were happy to be able to give their daughter the woodland-themed wedding she envisioned,” a feature about the wedding in Memphis Magazine reads. 

Wedding and event planners Ruthie Bowlin and Russell Whitehead described the reception at Dixon Gallery and Gardens as ‘truly magical.’

Eliza worked as a teacher at St. Mary’s Episcopal School and, according to reports, was an heiress to the family’s fortune. 

Fletcher’s parents and family have asked for privacy as they mourn Eliza

A day after Eliza’s disappearance, her family held a press conference thanking authorities for their efforts in finding Eliza. Via a statement read by Fletcher’s uncle, the family offered a reward for information leading to her return. 

Eliza Fletcher family
Eliza Fletcher’s uncle, Mike Keeney, flanked by her father and mother Beasley and Adele Wellford on the left and her husband Ritchie Fletcher and brother Gil Wellford on the right

“More than anything we want to see Liza returned home safely,” her uncle said. “The family has offered a reward for any information that leads to her safe return. We believe someone knows what happened and can help.”

Unfortunately, following an extensive search, police found Eliza’s body dumped near an abandoned apartment. The family released a statement saying they were ‘heartbroken and devastated by this senseless loss.’ The statement continued:

“Liza was such a joy to so many – her family, friends, colleagues, students, parents, members of her Second Presbyterian Church congregation, and everyone who knew her.”

The family thanked everyone who helped look for Eliza before requesting privacy as they mourn: “We hope that everyone, including media representatives, understand the need for the family to grieve in privacy without outside intrusion during this difficult time.”