Auburn police are seeking the public’s help in identifying a person of interest in connection to the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard.
The unidentified person sought for questioning was captured on video inside the Auburn convenience store where Blanchard, 19, was spotted Oct. 23, just one day before she was reported missing, Auburn police announced Wednesday night.
The person in the video appears to be a black man in his early to mid-20s. He is about 200 pounds and is between 5 feet, 8 inches and 5 feet. 10 inches tall. He was wearing dark pants, dark shoes and a hooded, camouflage jacket with “Vans” in white writing across the back, said police.
The person was observed leaving the area in what police describe as a silver or gray late 2000s model Lincoln Town Car.
Search updateSearch organizers are asking volunteers and others in the public not to share or post on social media the locations where they are looking for Blanchard.
Texas EquuSearch’s Ohio/Midwest Chapter made the request Wednesday morning, asking those who know not to divulge where the search areas are, according to its Facebook page.
“Due to foul play being considered in Aniah’s case, it is critical that locations do not get released to the public,” the post reads.
Auburn police said Tuesday that they also are withholding specific details on search locations and who is involved in the searches.
Texas EquuSearch, a Texas-based volunteer search and recovery group, was brought in Monday by law enforcement to aid in the search for Blanchard.
Tim Miller, founder and director of Texas EquuSearch, is optimistic his group will find Blanchard, but would make no guarantees.
“I told the family, I told detectives, I cannot promise you that we’re going to find her, but I can promise you we’re going to bring in the best resources and do the best job we can do,” he said Monday.
More than 60 agencies are involved in the search, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Auburn Police Division, Montgomery Police Department, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office and the Opelika Police Department were recently added to the task force, Auburn police Capt. Lorenza Dorsey said.
Auburn police continue to ask and encourage anyone who saw Blanchard or her vehicle “during the critical period or has any information as to her whereabouts to call the tip line,” Dorsey said.
In addition to the volunteer search efforts, concerned citizens and family supporters have collectively offered $105,000 in reward money for anyone who can provide information that leads to finding Blanchard.
Anyone with information on the identity of the person of interest or any other information regarding the case is asked to call the Auburn Police Division 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.