Alabama authorities issued a warrant Thursday for a man in the suspected of kidnapping the 19-year-old stepdaughter of UFC star Walt Harris.
Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, was already out on bond for kidnapping and attempted murder charges when the Auburn Police Department issued the first-degree kidnapping warrant.
Yazeed was identified by authorities as a person of interest after video surveillance showed him inside the convenience store where Aniah Haley Blanchard was last seen.
Ibraheem Yazeed.Auburn Police Division
The 30-year-old man was seen in the video wearing a camouflage colored jacket with “Vans” in white writing across the back and driving a late 2000’s model Lincoln Town Car that appeared to be either silver or grey.
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Auburn Police Chief Paul Register told reporters Thursday that they were looking into whether Blanchard might have known Yazeed.
“We don’t have any reason to know that she was familiar with him, but we can’t rule out completely that there would have been some knowledge,” Register said.
Register emphasized that Yazeed should be considered armed and dangerous. The public is asked to contact authorities immediately upon sighting Yazeed or Blanchard.
Blanchard, a student Southern Union College, was last seen on Oct. 23 in Auburn, Alabama. Her car was found damaged in Montgomery, about an hour away from Auburn, just two days later.
Authorities have said they believe Blanchard has been harmed and suspect foul play in her disappearance after the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences examined evidence from Blanchard’s 2017 Honda CR-V.
It’s unclear why Yazeed, who has a residence in Montgomery, was in the Auburn area on the night Blanchard was last seen.
“It’s very concerning to know that someone that committed this kind of crime … was out in our community,” Register said about Yazeed’s arrest for kidnapping and attempted murder. “It’s a difficult job keeping our communities safe and to know that that person was here, it’s a reminder to all of us that we just have to be vigilant in being safe.”
Aniah Haley Blanchard.Auburn Police Department
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and UFC president Dana White have announced rewards totaling $30,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in Blanchard’s disappearance.
“While she’s been gone, I’ve been holding on to hope,” Blanchard’s biological father Elijah Blanchard previously told NBC News. “The hardest part is knowing that she’s not just a phone call away.”
The public is asked to contact authorities immediately upon sighting Yazeed or Blanchard