28 November 2019 08:42
Human remains discovered in Alabama this week are those of Aniah Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris who went missing last month, authorities said Wednesday. The case will now continue as a homicide investigation, the Auburn Police Department said in a statement. Blanchard, 19, was last seen Oct. 23 outside a gas station in Auburn. The remains were found Monday in a rural area of Shorter, Alabama, as authorities looked for the teenager. Her family is "heartbroken," Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said Wednesday, according to AL.com.
"But at least they can now begin to deal with this and move forward," he said. Two men, Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, and Antwain Shamar Fisher, 35, were arrested in Blachard's disappearance after her abandoned black Honda CRV was found in Montgomery with her own blood inside. Police received a tip that Yazeed was allegedly seen Oct. 23 at the Auburn convenience store forcing Blanchard into her car and driving away. Both men were charged with first-degree kidnapping. Yazeed is being held in Lee County Jail without bond, and Fisher is being held on $50,000 bond. Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said Wednesday additional charges may be forthcoming once a cause of death has been confirmed. A third man, David Lee Johnson Sr., 63, is charged with hindering prosecution. "I am heartbroken for the family of Aniah Blanchard," Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement. "Like Alabamians across our state, I was praying for a much different outcome. I will be keeping them in my prayers and ask the people of Alabama to continue to do so as well." Southern Union State Community College, where Blanchard studied, tweeted that "the world seems dimmer and our hearts are heavy as we hear the confirming news of Aniah." With Post wires