The parents of an Alabama teen who vanished late last month told Dr. Phil that they believe someone who knows their daughter set up her kidnapping.
In an interview that is scheduled to air on Thursday, Aniah Blanchard’s mother and stepfather, Angela Harris and UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris, told Dr. Phil that they do not believe the 19-year-old’s kidnapping was random. Angela Harris said she believes someone who knows Blanchard, possibly a friend, also knows suspect Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, and helped arrange her abduction from an Auburn convenience store on October 23.
“If it was a setup, it was someone who knew Aniah, and someone who knew her well,” Angela Harris said in a preview clip shared on the show’s YouTube channel.
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The missing teen’s mother went on to reveal that authorities are investigating a lead regarding whether a friend of Blanchard’s was involved in her unsolved disappearance.
Yazeed, 30, has been jailed on first-degree kidnapping charges since his arrest last Thursday in Escambia County, Florida. Surveillance footage reportedly showed Yazeed at the convenience store around the time Blanchard vanished. At the time of Blanchard’s disappearance, Yazeed was out on bail on attempted murder charges—despite having a lengthy criminal history which includes arrests for kidnapping and robbery.
Prior to her disappearance, Blanchard had reportedly spoken with a friend and told her roommate in Snapchat messages that she was meeting a man.
A witness at the convenience store reportedly saw Yazeed forcing Blanchard into her car—which was found damaged and covered in her blood at a Montgomery apartment complex two days later.
Authorities have been mum regarding the ongoing missing persons case as a gag order was implemented earlier this week. Yazeed remains at Lee County Jail without bond.
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: Dr. Phil, Angela and Walt Harris/YouTube video screengrab]