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Following Memphis kidnapping, here are some tips on how to stay safe while running

Memphis Police said 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher was reportedly kidnapped early Friday morning while out for a jog near the University of Memphis campus.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — With the recent news of the Memphis woman who was allegedly kidnapped while jogging last week, WCNC Charlotte wanted to share some tips for runners who are going out by themselves.

*EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is not to put blame on the runner but instead to share some tips for runners who want to feel safe running outside alone.

Memphis Police said 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher was reportedly kidnapped early Friday morning while out for a jog near the University of Memphis campus.

Police said her body was found near a vacant home in the 1600 block at the corner of E Person Ave. and Victor St. around 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5. Investigators confirmed the identity just before 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, just minutes after canceling a City Watch Alert.

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According to Memphis Police, Fletcher had been jogging in the area of Central and Zach Curlin around 4:30 a.m. when an unknown person reportedly approached her and forced her into an SUV. University of Memphis police said in a safety alert to students and staff that a man had approached her in the middle of Central Avenue and forced her into the vehicle after a brief struggle.

Read more about the investigation here

RELATED: $50,000 reward offered for finding woman reportedly kidnapped while jogging


Tips from Road Runners Club of America

  • Be alert: Always be aware of your surroundings and what is going on nearby
  • Vary your routine: Select various routes so your routine is not too predictable when running alone. Be thoughtful about what you post online about your routes
  • Plan your routes with safety in mind: Run in familiar areas that allow you to safely alter your route as needed.
  • Run with a club/crew: Running with a group increases your safety. If you are traveling, find a club to run with. Check with local hotels about safe running routes. 
  • Carry your cell phone: The best safety tool you own. Text a friend or family member so they know you are out on your run. Find apps that can safely track your run. Use your wearable technology to keep you safe.
  • Be smart about headphone use: We get it, you love your music. Keep the volume low enough that you can maintain awareness of your surroundings. Don't zone out in unpopulated areas - especially on quiet trails. 
  • Share your location with a friend:  Apps like Find My Friends and Beacon (on Strava) allows your friends and family to track your run in real-time

RELATED: Runners take over I-277 for Around the Crown 10K

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