The missing Auburn woman is now considered a victim of foul play, according to investigators.

Evidence from 19-year-old Aniah Haley Blanchard’s vehicle, recovered Friday night in Montgomery, indicates that she was harmed and is considered to be a victim of foul play, Auburn police said Thursday, revealing the results of testing by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.

Auburn and Montgomery police, along with nine other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies who are working on this case, are now operating as a task force, police said.

“We’ve got about 60 members of those agencies assisting in this investigation now,” Auburn police Capt. Lorenza Dorsey told the Opelika-Auburn News on Wednesday.

Auburn police are seeking the public’s assistance regarding any information on the location of Blanchard and her vehicle from late last week until the present.

Reward grows

The reward for information regarding Aniah Blanchard has climbed to $80,000.

An anonymous family from Homewood and Ultimate Fighting Championship star Jon Jones each added an additional $25,000 for information regarding Blanchard’s disappearance, East Alabama CrimeStoppers announced Thursday night.

UFC President Dana White previously committed $25,000 and Gov. Kay Ivey’s office has approved a $5,000 reward posted. Blanchard, a Homewood native, is the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris.

The Lee County District Attorney’s Office also announced Thursday that an Auburn resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, is adding $5,000 to the reward money.

Background

Blanchard was seen driving a black 2017 Honda CR-V with the Alabama tag ‘49BS3556’ about 12:30 a.m. Oct. 24 in the area of South College Street and Interstate 85 in Auburn, according to police Chief Paul Register.

Video from a convenience store on South College Street showed Blanchard making a purchase the day before.

The vehicle was found damaged at 6:15 p.m. Oct. 25 at an apartment complex in the 6100 block of Boardwalk Boulevard in Montgomery.

Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said Wednesday the investigation into Blanchard’s disappearance is criminal.

Auburn police describe Blanchard as a light- complexioned black woman who is 5 feet, 6 inches tall and 125 pounds. She has brown eyes and hair, and was last seen wearing a black dress, tan duck boots and black stockings.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshal Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Montgomery Police Department, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Alabama Fusion Center and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences are assisting in the investigation.

Police ask anyone with information regarding Blanchard’s whereabouts call the Detective Section at 334-501-3140, the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391 or the 24-hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.

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