A witness who saw a man force an Alabama teen into her car late last month did not report the kidnapping to authorities that night, according to reports.
Aniah Blanchard’s mother, Angela Harris, told WBRC that an investigation into who was at the Auburn convenience store at the time her daughter vanished led them to the unidentified witness. She said police told them that the witness did not come forward at the time because they were “very scared.”
Blanchard, 19, was last seen at the store on October 23. Her car — which authorities said was damaged and covered in her blood — was discovered in an apartment complex’s parking lot in Montgomery, more than 50 miles away, two days later.
Blanchard reportedly sent her roommate Snapchat messages about meeting a man before her disappearance. However, her parents say they are certain that someone else had sent them.
Harris told WBRC the time the messages were sent and the way they were phrased suggests they were sent to conceal her daughter’s kidnapping.
“It’s a nightmare, quite frankly,” Blanchard’s stepfather, UFC fighter Walt Harris, told WBRC. “There’s never really any peace in the situation.”
On Friday, U.S. Marshals arrested Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, in Escambia County, Florida, on first-degree kidnapping charges in connection with Blanchard’s ongoing disappearance. Surveillance footage reportedly showed Yazeed at the convenience store around the time Blanchard vanished.
Records indicated that Yazeed was out on bail on attempted murder charges, despite having a lengthy criminal history which includes arrests for kidnapping and robbery.
Blanchard was described as being 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing approximately 125 pounds, and having brown eyes and brown hair. She was reportedly last seen wearing a black dress, tan duck boots, and black stockings.
Anyone with information regarding Aniah Blanchard’s whereabouts, or an accident involving her vehicle, is urged to contact the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140 or the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391.
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[Featured image: Aniah Blanchard/Facebook; Ibraheem Yazeed/Escambia County Sheriff’s Office]