Finishing Liza's Run: Philly Runners Honor Slain Memphis Jogger

At about 4:20 a.m. Friday, around the same time Eliza Fletcher was abducted, Philadelphia running groups hit the streets in her memory

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Early Friday morning, running groups in Philadelphia took to the streets to honor Eliza Fletcher, a Memphis, Tennessee mother who was abducted and killed by a stranger while on her morning jog a week ago.

As runners, they said they feel connected like family. They said it doesn’t matter where you live or where you’re from – there’s a bond. That’s why for most runners around the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Eliza Fletcher remains on their minds.

“I’m a teacher, a runner, I have a child. You have to find, as a runner, you want to find time to get the thing in that you love, to run,” Bennett Brookstein said. “For her, it was 4:30 before school.”

Like many runners, investigators said the Memphis-area mom and teacher started out her day with an early morning jog. But, this time, she would never make it home. Police found Fletcher’s body Tuesday after a man kidnapped her and dragged her into an SUV near the University of Memphis.

Just after 4:20 a.m. Friday, around the same time Fletcher was abducted, Philadelphia running groups darted off in her memory.

Brookstein, the man behind Fairmount Running Club, promised to be there. He said he's still recovering mentally after someone attacked him while he was running alone Christmas Day on MLK Drive.

“It’s still in my head. I can’t run alone,” Brookstein said. “Running in groups, I’m calling up people the night before, ‘who wants to run with me? I need somebody.’”

Early Friday morning, running groups in Philadelphia will hit the streets to honor the memory of Eliza Fletcher, the mother kidnapped and killed by a stranger in Memphis while she was out on a jog. NBC10’s Aaron Baskerville has the story.

One of the reasons he started his running group 20 years ago was for safety.

Jill Morris told NBC10 everyone should have the right to run whenever without fear, but understands that’s not always reality.

"It’s kind of scary, just a random person getting snatched. As a woman, running, you’re constantly really always thinking about your surroundings, who’s around you, where you are,” Morris said.

Friday the group made a statement as one – the best way they know how.

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