Suspect wanted in Aniah Blanchard case captured

The Auburn Police Division has identified the person of interest in Aniah Blanchard’s disappearance as 30-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed from Montgomery, Alabama. (Source: WSFA via Escambia County, Florida Jail)
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Friday, Nov. 8, 2019

ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WSFA) - The man wanted in connection to the missing person’s case of Aniah Blanchard has been taken into custody.

According to the Escambia County, Florida’s jail website, Ibraheem Yazeed was booked around 2:30 a.m.

Major Andrew Hobbs with the Escambia County Florida Sheriff’s Office did confirm his agency assisted U.S. Marshals in taking a suspect into custody but, at the time, he could not confirm the identity of the suspect or the suspect’s charges.

On Thursday, Auburn Police issued an arrest warrant for first-degree kidnapping for Yazeed in connection to Blanchard’s case.

“Further investigation and analysis of evidence has determined that Yazeed was at the same location Blanchard was last seen and is involved in taking Aniah against her will,” Register said during a news conference.

Yazeed is no stranger to law enforcement. Prior to his arrest he was out of jail on bond for attempted murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of first-degree robbery in connection with a February case out of Montgomery. Before noon on Thursday, Montgomery District Court Judge Pamela Higgins revoked his combined $280,000 bond and ordered his arrest.

Blanchard, 19, has been missing for more than two weeks. She was reported missing on Oct. 24. Auburn police said she spoke with friend just before midnight the night before. It was the last time anyone has heard from her.

Auburn police had released surveillance video of Blanchard inside a convenience store on South College Street. They said it was recorded just before her SUV was seen traveling southbound on South College Street and was the last place she had been seen.

Auburn police later released two photos of a man, also captured on surveillance video inside the store, they called a “person of interest”. The man was identified Thursday as Yazeed.

Blanchard’s Honda CR-V was found Friday, Oct. 25 at a Montgomery apartment complex not far from busy Atlanta Highway. It had fresh damage along its passenger side. Days later on Oct. 31, police confirmed evidence found inside the vehicle indicated she had been harmed.

Blanchard is a native of Homewood and a student at Southern Union State Community College in Lee County. Her stepfather is UFC fighter Walt Harris.

A reward totaling $105,000 from multiple sources has been pledged toward the effort to find her.

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