Body Found In Alabama May Be UFC Champ's Missing Step-Daughter, Police Say
A witness reportedly saw Aniah Blanchard forced into a vehicle against her will.
Police have suspended the month-long search for a 19-year-old Alabama woman after finding a body in a wooded area in Macon County.
"I can confirm that human remains have been found, and we have good reason to suspect they are that of Aniah Blanchard," District Attorney Brandon Hughes said, according to Birmingham's WIAT-TV.
Video captured the last sighting of the Southern Union College student making a purchase at a Chevron gas station in Auburn on Oct. 23. Blanchard, who is reportedly the stepdaughter of Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Walt Harris, then vanished. Concerned loved ones reported her missing the following day, according to Columbus-based WRBL-TV.
On Oct. 25, investigators recovered Blanchard's black 2017 Honda CR-V at an apartment complex in Montgomery, roughly an hour away from Auburn. The vehicle was reportedly damaged sometime between the teen's disappearance and its recovery.
According to an affidavit obtained by CNN, blood found on the passenger side of Blanchard's vehicle is "indicative of someone suffering from a life-threatening injury."
In a statement posted to its website, the Auburn Police Department said the case took a turn on Nov. 25 when authorities "located what appeared to be human remains several feet into the wood line." Authorities reportedly made the discovery near a road in Shorter, a small town situated between Montgomery and Auburn.
Auburn police said they made three arrests in connection with the case.
According to court documents obtained by Birmingham's WVTM-TV, a witness allegedly saw one of the suspects, identified by police as Ibraheem Yazeed, at the Chevron gas station on Oct. 23. The witness reportedly told police Yazeed forced "Blanchard into a vehicle against her will" and then left "with her in the vehicle."
On Nov. 8, police in Florida arrested Yazeed and extradited him to Alabama. The 30-year-old is reportedly facing a first-degree kidnapping charge. Authorities are holding him without bond at the Lee County Detention Facility.
At the time of his arrest, Yazeed was allegedly free on bond on kidnapping and attempted murder charges stemming from a separate incident, police said.
Authorities reportedly arrested a second suspect, 35-year-old Antwain "Squirmy" Fisher, on Nov. 22. He faces a charge of first-degree kidnapping, police said. His bond is $50,000.
A third man, David Johnson, Jr., bonded out of jail after police arrested him on charges of hindering prosecution in connection with Blanchard's disappearance, according to the Lee County District Attorney's Office.
The New York Times reported Blanchard's biological father, Elijah Blanchard, described his daughter as "an outstanding person" who was "at the wrong place at the wrong time."