Local running community reacts to runner Eliza Fletcher’s kidnapping and murder

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher was on her daily run on the streets of Memphis when she was abducted and killed. 

It’s every runner’s worst nightmare. 

“You just get that gut feeling. I think every woman runner gets it when they see something like that. Like you hope for the best but think man this could be the worst,” said local runner Heather Magill.

The local running community is shaken up. Rachel Tinius runs every day and said her husband always tells her to be careful before she heads out the door. 

“I tend to eye roll him in those scenarios, so as soon as the news came out he forwarded it to me and said ‘this is why Rachel, you can never be careful enough’,” said Tinius. 

Eliza was a wife, and a mother of two. 

“I feel like she was me. Like she’s 34, I’m 34, she has two young children and I have 3 young children. In so many ways her story could’ve been me or any of us there’s so many moms who we get up early and we go run,” said Tinius. 

Many moms run early so they can get their kids ready for the day and make breakfast. For some it’s the only time they can go running. 

“That’s my me time. I look at Eliza and that’s my whole situation. She worked full time, she was a mom, a wife, I just put myself in her shoes a little bit,” said Magill. 

Now, runners are rethinking the way they run. The best ways to run safely is to run with a friend or group, don’t listen to music, share your location, and carry pepper spray. 

“I think we need to make sure that for her, we don’t let this be something that deters people from running,” said Tinius. 

Lily Riherd is the leader of a local running group and said they’re going to be holding self defense classes. 

“Education. You know if we can educate, that’s the whole thing…being more educated gives us some more options that maybe we didn’t think about,” said Riherd.