Prosecutors said they are seeking the death penalty against the man who they alleged abducted and murdered Alabama teen Aniah Blanchard.
Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes announced on Monday that they will be upgrading first degree-kidnapping suspect Ibraheem Yazeed’s charges to capital murder. Hughes revealed that the 19-year-old had been fatally shot, but declined to share additional information regarding her death.
Blanchard was reported missing after she was reportedly abducted from a convenience store in Auburn on October 23. Her body was discovered last Monday in a wooded area off Highway 80 in Macon County.
Yazeed, 30, was reportedly caught on the convenience store’s surveillance cameras around the time of Blanchard’s disappearance. A witness at the store that night claimed he saw Yazeed force the teen into her car.
Two days after her disappearance, Blanchard’s car was found damaged and covered in her blood at an apartment complex in Montgomery. Reports indicated that Yazeed and the second kidnapping suspect, Antwon Fisher, 35, live in Montgomery.
Authorities had previously said the amount of blood discovered in Blanchard’s car suggested she had suffered a life-threatening injury.
Fisher, who was arrested on first-degree kidnapping charges on November 22, allegedly provided Yazeed with transportation and destroyed evidence related to the criminal investigation.
A third man, David Johnson Jr., 63, was arrested last Monday on charges of hindering prosecution. The Commerical Dispatch reported that police have accused him of lying to police about his son driving Yazeed from Alabama to Florida, where Yazeed was arrested on November 7.
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. Fisher has a 2005 felony murder conviction for fatally shooting a woman during a drug deal in Montgomery.
Hughes refused to say if Johnson or Fisher are facing upgraded charges now that authorities have confirmed Blanchard’s cause of death.
WTVM reported that Yazeed is due in court on Thursday but an active gag order has prevented the media from covering specifics in this case.
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[Featured image: Aniah Blanchard/Facebook; Ibraheem Yazeed/Montgomery County Detention Facility]