The monthlong search for missing college student Aniah Blanchard ended in tragedy as her probable remains were found Monday afternoon, Nov. 25, in Macon County, WRBL reported.
“I can confirm that human remains have been found and we have good reason to suspect they are that of Aniah Blanchard,” District Attorney Brandon Hughes told WRBL.
Blanchard’s remains were discovered off Macon County Road 2. It was not far from New Hope Baptist Church.
The 19-year-old’s family was notified.
Auburn police released the following statement late Monday afternoon:
“During the course of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard, investigators obtained information regarding the possible location of a body. On November 25, 2019, at approximately 10:45 a.m., Auburn Police, along with members of the Task Force, Lee County DA’s Office, U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, ALEA and Montgomery County Sheriff Office, responded to a wooded area in the 38,000 block of County Road 2 in Shorter, Alabama. After a brief search by Investigators, they located what appeared to be human remains several feet into the woodline. A complete investigation is underway by ALEA and Auburn Police to determine the identity and how the victim came to be at that location. The examination will explore if the remains are those of Aniah Blanchard who went missing on October 24, 2019.”
Two suspects have been charged with kidnapping Blanchard. Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, was arrested on Nov. 7 in Florida. Antwon “Squirmy” Fisher was arrested Friday, Nov. 22.
A third suspect, David Johnson Jr., was arrested Monday, Nov. 25 in Montgomery and charged with hindering prosecution.
Blanchard was seen on surveillance video inside a local gas station convenience store around 11:30 the night she disappeared. Yazeed was caught on video inside the store at the same time.
Blanchard’s black Honda CR-V was found Friday night, Oct. 25 at a Montgomery apartment complex not far from Atlanta Highway. The vehicle had damage along its passenger side.
An affidavit stated blood “indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury” was found inside the SUV. Forensic testing confirmed the blood was Blanchard’s.
Blanchard’s stepfather is UFC fighter Walt Harris. A reward totaling $105,000 from multiple sources has been pledged toward the effort to find her.
The case is still being investigated by the Auburn Police Division.