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Officials: Body found in Alabama woods is likely Aniah Blanchard

By Darryl Coote
Officials: Body found in Alabama woods is likely Aniah Blanchard
Aniah Blanchard was reported missing Oct. 24, a day after she was last seen in CCTV footage making a purchase at an Auburn, Ala., convenience store. Photo courtesy of Auburn Police Department/Website

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Alabama police believe they have found the remains of missing college student Aniah Blanchard, authorities said.

Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes told WRBL News 3 that he has "good reason" to suspect that the body found Monday in Macon County belongs to Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris.

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Auburn police Capt. Lorenza Dorsey said her remains were found in a wooded area in Shorter, some 25 miles from Montgomery, after authorities were contacted concerning the possible location of a body.

"After a brief search by investigators, they located what appeared to be human remains several feet into the woodline," Dorsey said in a statement, adding that an investigation is underway to discover how the body arrived at the location and to confirm its identity.

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Blanchard, 19, a student at Southern Union State Community College, was reported missing Oct. 24. Her vehicle was found two days later damaged in a Montgomery apartment parking lot.

Three men have been arrested in connection to her death and disappearance.

On Nov. 7, Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, was arrested in Pensacola, Fla., by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. A warrant had been issued for his arrest on the charge of first-degree kidnapping.

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Police said an analysis of evidence determined that Yazeed had been at the same location as Blanchard when she was last seen. He was out on bond at the time of his arrest for kidnapping and attempted murder charges in another district. According to court documents, Yazeed was witnessed forcing Blanchard into a vehicle against her will.

Antwain Fisher, 35, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree kidnapping. His charges stem from providing Yazeed with transportation and disposing of evidence, according to court documents.

On Monday, David Johnson Jr., 63, was apprehended for hindering the prosecution involved in the case.

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Since Blanchard went missing, her stepfather, Harris, has repeatedly posted about her on his Instagram account, asking for anyone who has information to come forward.

"I won't rest until I find you, baby girl!" he said. "I love you!"

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