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Mom and her one-year-old are snatched outside Target in brazen midday kidnapping in Memphis

Police are looking for the men who kidnapped a mother and her one-year-old from outside a target during a brutal afternoon robbery in Memphis — just days before a billionaire heiress was plucked from the streets of the same city.

According to a Facebook post from the Memphis Police Department, the mother was shopping in her car outside the Target store when she and her child were hijacked on Aug. 31.

She and her one-year-old were forced into a car after being threatened by the men, who brandished a gun and demanded money.

According to WREG-TV, one of the suspects sat in the front with the mother, while the other was in the back with her child.

They had the mother withdraw $800 from an ATM at the Regions Bank, half a mile down Highway 64.

The terrifying ordeal was then over, when they then released the mother and child, returned her card and dropped them off at the same target where they were kidnapped. Then she went inside to tell an employee what had happened.

According to a Facebook post from the Memphis Police Department, the mother was shopping in her car outside the Target store when she and her child were hijacked on Aug. 31.  Pictured: CCTV footage released by police of one of the suspects

She and her child were forced into a car after being threatened by the men, who brandished a gun and demanded money.  They had the mother withdraw $800 from an ATM at the Regions Bank half a mile away on Highway 64. Pictured: CCTV image of a suspect released by police

She and her child were forced into a car after being threatened by the men, who brandished a gun and demanded money.  They had the mother withdraw $800 from an ATM at the Regions Bank half a mile away on Highway 64. Pictured: CCTV image of a suspect released by police

According to a Facebook post from the Memphis Police Department, the mother was shopping in her car outside the Target store when she and her child were hijacked on Aug. 31. Pictured: CCTV footage released by police of one of the suspects

Officers have now released CCTV footage of the suspects, who they are hunting, as they walked through a Walmart store before kidnapping the mother and child.

They also shared photos of the car the two men were driving.

Crime Stoppers from Memphis and Shirley County Inc. are offering a cash reward of up to $2,000 to anyone who knows where the suspects are.

Police also shared photos of the car the two men were driving (pictured)

Police also shared photos of the car the two men were driving (pictured)

Police also shared photos of the car the two men were driving (pictured)

1662965971 422 Mom and her one year old are snatched outside Target in brazen

1662965971 422 Mom and her one year old are snatched outside Target in brazen

The disturbing incident came days before billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher was taken off the streets of the same city.

Fletcher, 34, is still missing after being grabbed at 4 a.m. Friday morning during her daily run near the University of Memphis.

She was last seen jogging at 4:20 a.m. on Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street.

After a brief struggle with 38-year-old Cleotha Abston, the car then drove west on Central Avenue.

Officers have charged Abston with particularly aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence after Fletcher’s disappearance.

He had stalked the 34-year-old while she was jogging at four in the morning, waiting for her to walk past him before he grabbed her.

Fletcher, 34, pictured, is still missing after being snatched from her daily run near the University of Memphis at 4am Friday morning

Fletcher, 34, pictured, is still missing after being snatched from her daily run near the University of Memphis at 4am Friday morning

Fletcher, 34, pictured, is still missing after being snatched from her daily run near the University of Memphis at 4am Friday morning

She was last seen jogging at 4:20 a.m. on Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street.  After a brief struggle with 38-year-old Cleotha Abston, pictured, the car then drove off, heading west on Central Avenue

She was last seen jogging at 4:20 a.m. on Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street.  After a brief struggle with 38-year-old Cleotha Abston, pictured, the car then drove off, heading west on Central Avenue

She was last seen jogging at 4:20 a.m. on Central Avenue and Zach Curlin Street. After a brief struggle with 38-year-old Cleotha Abston, pictured, the car then drove off, heading west on Central Avenue

Court records show that Abston, 38, is a previously convicted kidnapper: he pleaded guilty to particularly aggravated kidnapping and robbery in 2001.

Tennessee authorities obtained surveillance footage of Friday’s kidnapping, which reportedly showed Abston “aggressively ran toward the victim, then forced victim Eliza Fletcher into the passenger side of the vehicle,” the documents said.

“During the kidnapping, there appeared to be a struggle,” the affidavit said, stating “appreciable damage to the rear light area of ​​the rear passengers” of the GMC Terrain.

After Fletcher – who is still missing – was pushed into the black SUV, police said, “the vehicle sat in the parking lot with the victim in it for about four minutes before driving away.”

1662965972 262 Mom and her one year old are snatched outside Target in brazen

1662965972 262 Mom and her one year old are snatched outside Target in brazen

A neighbor told DailyMail.com exclusively that Abston had routinely offered women $100 for sex and stalked others while he hung out in the apartment complex where his brother lived.

His arrest comes just over two years after his release from prison on kidnapping charges. Abston spent 20 years in prison for the kidnapping and robbery of attorney Kemper Durand in Memphis in May 2000.

On May 25, 2000, around 2 a.m., Abston Kemper approached Durand from behind on Beale Street in Memphis, robbed him and forced him into the trunk of his car, according to the Memphis Flyer.

Abston then drove around with Durand for several hours, then forced him into an ATM and demanded that he withdraw cash. While in the ATM, Durand saw a housing authority official and yelled for help, causing Abston to flee.

He was convicted of that kidnapping and released from prison in July 2020, according to the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Kemper Durand passed away in February 2013 at the age of 73.

A tribute article published in the Commercial Appeal quoted a friend as saying that Durand regularly joked about his kidnapping ordeal.

That friend also said Durand pleaded for leniency for Abston and his 12-year-old accomplice. Durand later said he didn’t want to “wasting away” in the fear he was suffering from.

Officers charged Abston, pictured, with particularly aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence after Fletcher's disappearance

Officers charged Abston, pictured, with particularly aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence after Fletcher's disappearance

Officers charged Abston, pictured, with particularly aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence after Fletcher’s disappearance

In addition to surveillance footage showing the full-blown “violent” kidnapping in which Fletcher was forced into a black SUV with a broken taillight, an affidavit showed police identified Abston as the kidnapper through a pair of sandals he left behind at the scene.

Abston lost the sandals — a pair of Champion-branded slippers — in his battle to force Fletcher into the car, and authorities were able to recover his DNA found on them.

Investigators also determined that Abston’s cell was near the kidnapping at the time Fletcher was taken. The affidavit described an interview with a woman who said Abston’s behavior in the hours following the kidnapping was “strange.”

The woman said Abston was in a “weird mood” and that she saw him frantically cleaning the interior of his car with carpet cleaner and washing his clothes in the sink of his house.

1662965972 903 Mom and her one year old are snatched outside Target in brazen

1662965972 903 Mom and her one year old are snatched outside Target in brazen

Abston has still not said where Fletcher, pictured, is or what he did to her. The affidavit said evidence, including blood, found in Abston’s car led them to believe Fletcher had suffered a “serious injury.”

Authorities went to Abston’s last known address and found the same black SUV with the damaged taillight. The affidavit said Abston was standing in the doorway when police arrived and that he began to flee, but was soon apprehended.

Abston still hasn’t said where Fletcher is or what he did to her. The affidavit said evidence, including blood, found in Abston’s car led them to believe Fletcher had suffered a “serious injury.”

“The investigation into the kidnapping of Eliza Fletcher is still active and ongoing. Investigators are continuing the search and are following all leads,” police said in a statement Sunday after announcing Abston’s arrest.

Police were also seen Saturday night searching dumpsters outside a McDonald’s restaurant in Memphis as they searched for the kindergarten teacher and mother.

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