Friday marks a year since Aniah Blanchard was filmed being abducted from a local convenience store. It would be the last time the slain Alabama teen would be seen alive.
On October 23, 2019, surveillance cameras reportedly caught suspect Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, forcing Blanchard, 19, into her car in the Auburn store’s parking lot. Blanchard’s car was found damaged and covered in her blood at a Montgomery apartment complex two days after the apparent abduction.
Blanchard’s body was discovered in a wooded area in Macon County a month later. Authorities determined that Blanchard had been fatally shot — and police said evidence suggested she had reached for the gun and attempted to fight back before she was killed.
“There were only 40 bones and a skull of my child found. That’s all that was left, and that took 240 people to find,” her mother, Angela Harris told AL.com.
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Posted by Aniah's Heart on Thursday, October 22, 2020
WBRC reported that Blanchard has not yet been buried, as authorities kept her remains for their investigation. However, they were recently released — and her family plans to bury her 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. In the January 2019 case, Yazeed reportedly nearly beat one of the victims to death.
In June, Yazeed was charged with fatally shooting a homeless man in Montgomery in 2018.
Harris told AL.com, “First of all, it should have never happened. I’m trying to do good and not be that angry mama, but I am angry.”
“I am angry that the justice system failed my daughter.”
Harris has fought for bail reform through Aniah’s Law, which would provide exceptions to the right to bail under Alabama’s constitution. Under current law, defendants have a right to bail unless they are charged with capital murder.
According to AL.com, the amendment Harris has proposed would prohibit bail for suspects charged with Class A felonies which pose a danger to the victim — including first-degree rape, first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, and non-capital murder.
“It’s needed so bad. It seems like every week somebody’s committing a crime that has a past history of a violent offense,” she told the news outlet.
Yazeed was charged with capital murder and kidnapping in connection with Blanchard’s death. Prosecutors are reportedly seeking the death penalty.
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[Featured image: Aniah Blanchard/Facebook]