The education community was left stunned by the kidnapping and murder of Eliza Fletcher, a Memphis teacher who was abducted during an early-morning jog near the University of Memphis (UofM).
Some UofM students expressed shock that the incident happened so close to where they travel to class daily. Many students asked to remain anonymous. “It is frightening and discouraging that it can happen so close to here.”
RELATED: New details surrounding the death of Eliza Fletcher released
After an intense 3-day search for the missing jogger, Memphis Police confirmed Tuesday morning that the body found in the 1600 block of Victor was the beloved wife and mom of two.
“It’s upsetting because I live right around here and go to school here, and it’s nice to think that you can be safe just walking around campus,” one student said.
PHOTOS: Body found during search for Eliza Fletcher, police say
Many UofM students said they are saddened by the developments in the case and added they are concerned because the incident occurred so close to home.
“Mostly women, we’re all in,” said UofM student Chole Carter. “We’ve heard about people driving by and yelling at students just when they’re walking to class.”
“Liza”, as loved ones affectionately called her, was jogging in the 3800 block of Central Avenue around 4:30 Friday morning, when she was forced into a black SUV. The incident happened only 3 minutes from the university, less than a mile away from the campus, leading some students to express disbelief, now driven to take extra precautions.
“I’m shocked because I just started moving my parking space. I noticed that people were walking into the trail into the woods, and I didn’t feel it was safe,” one student said.
RELATED: RUNNING FOR ELIZA: Community members to finish Eliza Fletcher’s run on Central Avenue
In recent email communication, the university urged students to remain diligent and watchful, also reminding students of campus resources like its emergency messaging system, Tiger Patrol and police services, and the Blue Line Shuttle, which it suggests students use at night.
“It’s terrifying having to carry around pepper spray and knives when you just want to run,” said Carter. Another student who chose to remain anonymous also spoke candidly about the recent developments. “You should be able to trust that you’re going to be safe just walking where you need to go.”
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