The Auburn Police Division issued an arrest warrant Thursday for an Alabama man suspected of abducting Aniah Blanchard last month, a news release said.
Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, of Montgomery, Alabama, is accused of kidnapping in the first degree, the release said. Blanchard’s damaged SUV was found in Montgomery. She was last seen in Auburn.
Authorities are searching for the suspect, who is out on bond for charges of kidnapping and attempted murder from another jurisdiction, according to the release.
“Analysis of evidence has determined that Yazeed was at the same location Blanchard was last seen and is involved in taking Aniah against her will,” the release said. “He should be considered dangerous and potentially armed.”
Police have previously said Blanchard was harmed during the crime, evidence inside her vehicle shows.
Blanchard, a 19-year-old college student who is the stepdaughter of Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Walt Harris, was last heard from October 23.
Her damaged black 2017 Honda CR-V was found two days later at an apartment complex in Montgomery, about an hour away from Auburn.
Blanchard communicated with a friend just before midnight October 23 and hasn’t been heard from since, Auburn Police said in a statement last week.
Blanchard, a black woman with a light complexion, attends Southern Union State Community College, which has several campuses in East Alabama. She is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs about 125 pounds and was last seen wearing a black dress, tan duck boots and black stockings.
Her SUV had damage to the front right fender and scrapes on a passenger-side door. Police said the vehicle had no damage when it was last seen and they asked anyone with information on Blanchard’s disappearance or on the damage to the SUV to contact them.
UFC President Dana White has said he would contribute additional money to the reward offered hours earlier by Gov. Kay Ivey.
“To help find Aniah, I’m contributing an additional $25,000 to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators involved in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard,” he said in a video posted to Twitter.
Ivey tweeted: “I encourage anyone with information about the whereabouts of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, who was last seen Oct. 23, to please call *HP or 9-1-1. We continue to pray for Aniah & her family as law enforcement officials work to bring her home.”
Blanchard’s stepfather is ranked No. 10 among Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweights. In posts on Instagram and Twitter, Harris has pleaded for the public’s help in finding Blanchard.