UPDATED THURSDAY, NOV. 14, AT 8 P.M.
Kidnapping suspect Ibraheem Yazeed has not submitted any evidence that he is being threatened in the Lee County Jail, according to a response filed Thursday night by the State of Alabama.
“He asserts he needs to be transferred to Montgomery because he is being threatened in the Lee County Jail yet has offered no evidence in support thereof,” the response filed by Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes on behalf of the State reads.
The response states that the State believes Yazeed “wants to get back to Montgomery because that is where he has friends and where he has been allowed to evade prosecution,” the response reads.
The State is requesting that Yazeed’s motion for bond reconsideration to be heard during his preliminary hearing on Nov. 20.
The state also notes that Yazeed’s motion did not mention one important reason as to why the State requested no bond be given.
“The defendant conveniently ignored a third and, I submit, the most important reason: that the defendant was out on bond for Kidnapping First Degree and Attempted Murder when he committed the Kidnapping First Degree offense for which he was most recently arrested,” the response reads.
UPDATED THURSDAY, NOV. 14, AT 6 P.M.
The attorney for the suspect charged in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard filed a motion for bond reconsideration Thursday, citing death threats.
Elijah Beaver, the attorney for 30-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed, is asking for the court to reconsider the bond, stating that the defendant’s life has been threatened while he has been held without bail at the Lee County Jail, according to a Thursday court filing.
Yazeed “has received death threats from other inmates within the Lee County Jail, and thus has been moved to solitary confinement for his own security,” the motion reads.
Yazeed is charged with first-degree kidnapping, in connection with the disappearance of Blanchard, a 19-year-old student at Southern Union State Community College. He was out on bond for charges elsewhere in the state when Blanchard was reported missing Oct. 24.
Lee County Judge Russell Bush approved a motion filed by Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes during the weekend to hold Yazeed without bond, citing his extensive history of violent criminal offenses, according to court documents.
The State’s motion noted that Yazeed was out on bond for “multiple violent offenses at the time of the alleged offense in Lee County…,” the motion reads.
Beaver’s bond reconsideration motion calls the state’s claims “deliberately misleading and untruthful.” The motion states that Yazeed has a “history of being wrongfully accused of serious offenses by the State and held in jail for long periods of time on insufficient evidence, later to be released without being formally charged.”
The motion by Beaver also states that there was a due process violation due to Yazeed and his defense not being given the chance to respond to the State’s motion.
If Yazeed were to make bond in this case, he would then return to jail in Montgomery County, where his bond has been revoked, according to the motion.
Gag order motion
Beaver also filed a motion Thursday for Blanchard’s family members should be included in the gag order in the case.
“The arrest warrant in this case states, ‘Auburn Police met with family members of Aniah Haley Blanchard, alias, in reference to a missing person complaint.’ Thus the victim's family members are clearly ‘potential witnesses’ in this case and subject to the Court's gag order,” the motion reads.
The motion goes on to cite several interviews given by Blanchard’s mother Angela Haley-Harris and stepfather Walt Harris after they “knew or should have known about the court’s order in this case.”
Beaver’s motion also states that Harris has made statements that constitute a threat to Yazeed’s safety. The motion cites Harris’ interview with WBRC in which he “states that he was at the hearing and, ‘You could see the evil on this guy,’ referring to the defendant,” the motion reads.
The motion goes on to state that Harris felt rage and wanted to make Yazeed feel pain, which constitutes as a threat to Yazeed’s safety, according to the motion.
Beaver added in the motion that “if the court is going to allow comment to the media that all parties should be allowed equal access to the media to avoid effect on potential jurors which would prejudice the outcome of this case.”
UPDATED THURSDAY, NOV. 14, AT 1 P.M.
The mother and stepfather of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard are set to appear on a national talk show Thursday to speak about their daughter’s disappearance and the hope they still have that she will be found alive.
Angela Haley-Harris and Walt Harris are appearing in a satellite interview with Dr. Phil on his talk show Thursday.
“We are trying to keep the hope that even though she had an injury that she is still alive,” Haley-Harris said in the interview.
Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, of Montgomery, is charged with first-degree kidnapping in connection to Blanchard’s disappearance. He made his first court appearance Sunday in front of a judge, attorneys and Blanchard’s family.
“It was tough to sit in there as a father,” Harris said in the interview. “That was one of the hardest moments of my life to look at that man and contain myself.”
The couple added that Yazeed has not revealed any information to investigators to this point.
Blanchard was last seen at an Auburn convenience store on Oct. 23 and was reported missing Oct. 24. Her vehicle was discovered a day later in Montgomery. Forensic testing matched the blood found in the car to Blanchard, according to the affidavit obtained by the Opelika-Auburn News last week.
Haley-Harris said investigators are following a lead that she is unable to speak about. However, she stated that she has a feeling that Blanchard was set up the night she went missing.
“Personally, I believe that it was somebody, if it was a setup, that somebody that knew Aniah and that knew her well,” she said. “And it’s someone that would be running with those type of people.”
The interview with Haley-Harris and Harris will air during ‘Dr. Phil’ at 4 p.m. on WTVM, WIAT, WDHN, WZDX, WALA and WAKA.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY, NOV. 13, AT 4:30 P.M.
The suspect charged in connection to the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard is set to appear in court next week.
Lee County Judge Russell Bush set a preliminary hearing for 30-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed for Nov. 20 at 9 a.m., according to court documents.
Yazeed’s court appointed attorney, Elijah Beaver, filed a motion requesting a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning, court records show.
Yazeed is charged with first-degree kidnapping in connection to Blanchard’s disappearance.
Beaver also filed a motion for discovery/request for product Tuesday.
The motion was granted “to the extent that the court orders any party in possession of discoverable materials to provide the same to the other party in a timely manner, and if possible prior to the preliminary hearing,” the order granted by Bush reads.
UPDATED TUESDAY, NOV. 12, AT 5:30 P.M.
Texas EquuSearch is headed home after numerous searches for missing 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard turn up empty.
The search group is suspending the search until they have more information that leads them to a new area, Destinie Duvall, with Texas EquuSearch, told the Opelika-Auburn News Tuesday.
“My heart hurts for everyone today,” Duvall said.
UPDATED TUESDAY, NOV. 12, AT 12:15 P.M.
A Lee County judge ordered Ibraheem Yazeed, the primary suspect arrested and facing charges in the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, to be held without bond during the weekend.
Lee County Judge Russell Bush approved a motion filed by Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes to hold Yazeed without bond, citing his extensive history of violent criminal offenses, according to court documents.
The motion also cited that Yazeed was out on bond for “multiple violent offenses at the time of the alleged offense in Lee County that is the basis for the above-referenced warrant,” the motion reads.
Additionally, the motion notes that Yazeed fled the jurisdiction after the offense, according to court records.
UPDATED MONDAY, NOV. 11, AT 9:10 A.M.
A Lee County judge issued a gag order during the weekend in the case of Ibraheem Yazeed, the primary suspect arrested and facing charges in the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard.
Lee County Judge Russell Bush issued the gag order, which limits information or comments concerning the case from being made public. Most county and state officials were off Monday for Veterans Day, making court records unavailable.
Yazeed is charged with first-degree kidnapping in connection to the disappearance of Blanchard.
Typically, a gag order restricts the attorneys working the case from talking to the media or the public about it.
Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said he was unable to comment further on the case.
Yazeed returned to Lee County late Friday night after he was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Pensacola, Florida, Thursday night.
He waived extradition at a Friday court appearance in Escambia County, Florida, paving the way for Yazeed to immediately return to Lee County.
UPDATED MONDAY, NOV. 11, AT 8:40 A.M.
The mother of Natalee Holloway is joining in the search for Aniah Blanchard.
Beth Holloway joined the search for the 19-year-old Southern Union State Community College student Saturday, Texas EquuSearch announced on its Facebook.
Natalee Holloway, a Birmingham-area native, disappeared in May 2005 while on a trip to Aruba. Texas EquuSearch assisted in attempting to locate her in Aruba.
UPDATED FRIDAY, NOV. 8, AT 2:45 P.M.
A witness identified Ibraheem Yazeed “as the individual he observed forcing [Aniah] Blanchard into a vehicle against her will and then leave with her in the vehicle,” according to the affidavit charging crime obtained Friday by the Opelika-Auburn News.
In addition, a life-threatening amount of Aniah Blanchard’s blood was found in the passenger side of her vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Yazeed, 30, of Montgomery, was arrested in Pensacola, and is charged with being an out of state fugitive.
He waived extradition, paving the way for Yazeed to be transported to Lee County immediately.
A court appearance has not been set, according to court records.
Yazeed is facing a first-degree kidnapping charge in Lee County in connection to Blanchard’s disappearance.
Blanchard’s 2017 black Honda CR-V was recovered at an apartment complex in Montgomery on Oct. 24. Blood evidence was found in the passenger’s side of her vehicle “that was indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury,” the affidavit says.
Testing by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences was done on the vehicle. The results confirmed the blood to be from Blanchard, according to the affidavit.
Police obtained video evidence from an Auburn convenience store that Blanchard was spotted at on Oct. 23. The video evidence place both Blanchard and a black male, later identified as Yazeed, at the store during the same time.
UPDATED FRIDAY, NOV. 8, AT 9 A.M.
Auburn police confirm that Ibraheem Yazeed was taken into custody late Thursday in Florida.
The 30-year-old Montgomery native was taken into custody in Pensacola, Florida, around 11 p.m. by members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, police said. Deputies with the Escambia county Sheriff’s Department assisted.
Yazeed is being held in the Escambia County jail pending extradition to Lee County, where he will be charged with first-degree kidnapping, added police.
Check oanow.com throughout day for developments, as well coverage in Saturday’s and Sunday’s editions of the Opelika Auburn News.
UPDATED FRIDAY, NOV. 8, AT 5:20 A.M.
The man wanted in connection to Aniah Blanchard’s disappearance is in custody.
Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, of Montgomery, was captured overnight in Escambia County, Florida, according to the county’s jail website.
Yazeed was booked at 2:32 a.m. Friday morning, according to the jail’s website.
He is charged with out of state fugitive and is being held without bond. Yazeed is on hold for the Auburn Police Division, according the website.
Yazeed is facing a first-degree kidnapping charge in Auburn.
Escambia County is located on the panhandle. Pensacola, Florida, is located in the county.
More details will be available later today at oanow.com.
UPDATED THURSDAY, NOV. 7, AT 2 P.M.
Auburn police have charged Ibraheem Yazeed in connection with the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard.
Police announced a Thursday that they are charging the 30-year-old Montgomery resident with first-degree kidnapping.
Police obtained a warrant for his arrest.
“Further investigation and 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,” a release from Auburn police reads.
The U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force along with other agencies assisting with the investigation are actively searching for Yazeed, said police.
Additional charges and/or arrests are anticipated.
Yazeed is currently out on bond for the charges of kidnapping and attempted murder from another jurisdiction, added police.
Police consider Yazeed as dangerous and potentially armed.
Police ask anyone with information regarding his whereabouts or having information on this case to call the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140, Central Alabama Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP, or the 24 hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.
More details will be available later today at oanow.com and in Friday’s edition of the Opelika-Auburn News.
UPDATED THURSDAY, NOV. 7, AT 12:34 P.M.
Organizers are asking the public for donations to aid in their search for Aniah Blanchard.
Texas EquuSearch is asking for the public to donate gas cards, Walmart gift cards and food gift cards to help fund its search for Blanchard, Auburn United Methodist Church announced Thursday morning.
The gas cards will fuel ATVs and search vehicles, the Warlmart gift cards search supplies and food gift cards will allow searches to grab food on the go. Lodgings for the volunteers has already been arranged with local hotels.
Donations can be taken to Auburn United Methodist Church, 137 S. Gay St., and left at the reception desk between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Friday.
Texas EquuSearch is a non-profit organization and funded solely from donations.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY, NOV. 6, AT 5:06 P.M.
Auburn police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a person captured on video surveillance inside the Auburn convenience store Aniah Blanchard was spotted at on Oct. 23, just one day before she was reported missing.
Police describe the person in the video as a black male in his early to mid 20s. He is about 200 pounds and is between 5-feet 8-inches tall and 5-feet 10-inches tall.
The person is wearing dark colored pants, dark colored shoes and a camouflage colored hooded jacket with “Vans” in white writing across the back, said police.
The male in the video was observed leaving the area in what police describe as a late 2000s model Lincoln Town Car that is silver or grey in color.
Investigators are seeking to identify the male in the video and speak with him as part of the ongoing joint investigation with the Auburn Police Division and the Montgomery Police Department into Blanchard’s disappearance, police said.
Anyone with information on his identity is being 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.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY, NOV. 6, AT 11:15 A.M.
Organizers are asking search volunteers and others in the public not to share or post on social media where they are searching for Aniah 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 officials said Tuesday that they also are withholding specific details on search locations and who is involved in the searches.
UPDATED TUESDAY, NOV. 5, AT 10:40 A.M.
Southern Union State Community College will hold a moment of reflection for student Aniah Blanchard on Wednesday.
Southern Union’s Bison Campus Ministries is asking the community to join them in a moment of reflection for Blanchard and her family at 10:23 a.m. Wednesday, the college announced.
Community members are asked to observe the moment of silence, pray individually or as a group.
“Pray for comfort and strength for her parents, clarity and resilience and for those investigating the case, and most importantly a breakthrough in the case (hopefully, that she is found alive and well),” Southern Union said in an email.
UPDATED MONDAY, NOV. 4, AT 10 A.M.
A prayer service for Aniah Blanchard will be held tonight in Auburn.
The service will take place at 6:22 p.m. at Auburn United Methodist Church, 220 E. Magnolia Ave.
Blanchard’s birthday is June 22, 2000, according to service organizers.
The service will be to pray and show support for Blanchard and her family.
UPDATED FRIDAY, NOV. 1, AT 6:40 P.M.
The reward for information regarding the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard continues to rise.
The Chief Executive Officer of Dominance Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Ali Abdelaziz, has pledged $25,000 in reward money, Central Alabama CrimeStoppers said Friday.
The total reward money is now $105,000.
UPDATED THURSDAY, OCT. 31, AT 7:10 P.M.
The reward for information regarding Aniah Blanchard continues to climb.
An anonymous family from Homewood and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) star Jon Jones added an additional $25,000 each in reward money for information regarding Blanchard’s disappearance, East Alabama CrimeStoppers announces Thursday night.
The total reward money now totals $80,000.
UPDATED THURSDAY, OCT. 31, AT 1:40 P.M.
The missing Auburn teen is now considered a victim of foul play, according to investigators.
Evidence from Aniah Haley Blanchard’s vehicle, recovered in Montgomery Friday night, 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, said police.
The task force is comprised of 60 members from the agencies, Auburn police Capt. Lorenza Dorsey told the Opelika-Auburn News on Wednesday.
Police want the public’s assistance regarding any information on the location of Blanchard and her vehicle late last week.
The investigation is ongoing. Police ask that anyone with information regarding Blanchard’s whereabouts, or other knowledge about the case 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.
UPDATED THURSDAY, OCT. 31, AT 9:45 A.M.
The reward money for information regarding missing 19-year-old Aniah Haley Blanchard was raised to $35,000 overnight.
The president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Dana White, is offering $25,000 in reward money to assist the investigation of the missing Auburn teen.
White announced Wednesday night that he is adding the money to Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s $5,000 reward for information leading the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) involved in the disappearance of Aniah Haley Blanchard, 19.
White made the announcement on his Twitter page.
The Lee County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday morning that an Auburn resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, is adding $5,000 to the reward money.
The total reward money for information leading the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) involved in the disappearance of Blanchard is now $35,000, according to the Lee County District Attorney's Office.
Blanchard is the step-daughter to UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris.
UPDATED WEDNESDAY AT 2:45 P.M.
Governor Kay Ivey is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) in connection to the case of a missing Auburn teen.
Ivey is offering a $5,000 reward for information in regards to the disappearance of Aniah Haley Blanchard, 19.
“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,” Ivey said. “We continue to pray for Aniah and her family as law enforcement officials work to bring her home.”
UPDATED MONDAY AT 12:30 P.M.
Auburn police have released video surveillance of the missing Auburn teen from Wednesday, Oct. 23.
The Auburn Police Division released a snippet of a video Monday capturing Aniah Haley Blanchard, 19, making a purchase at a convenience store located on South College Street, on Wednesday just prior to her vehicle being observed traveling southbound on South College Street, police said.
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, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Alabama Fusion Center and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences are assisting in the investigation.
The investigation is continuing, and police ask that anyone with information regarding Blanchard’s whereabouts 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.
UPDATED SATURDAY AT 5 P.M.
Auburn police located the vehicle of a missing Auburn teen in Montgomery Friday night.
Aniah Haley Blanchard’s vehicle was located at an apartment complex in the 6100 block of Boardwalk Boulevard in Montgomery at 6:15 p.m. Friday, Auburn police said.
Blanchard, however has not been located, police added.
Damage had occurred on the vehicle from the time the vehicle was last seen on Wednesday just before midnight in Auburn and its recovery on Friday in Montgomery, said police.
“Members of the Auburn Police Division, as well as the Montgomery Police Department, responded after receiving notification from a citizen,” a release from Auburn police reads.
Police ask that if anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of the vehicle between Wednesday, Oct. 23, and Friday, Oct. 25, or witnessed an accident or other collision involving the vehicle is asked to contact the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140 or the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391.
The Auburn Police Division is asking for the public’s help in locating an Auburn teenage girl.
Aniah Haley Blanchard, 19, was reported missing to police Thursday. She last communicated with a friend Wednesday night just before midnight, Auburn police said.
Police are investigating her whereabouts.
Blanchard drives a black 2017 Honda CR-V with the Alabama tag ‘49BS356.’ The location of the vehicle is not known, police said.
Her vehicle was seen at about 12:30 a.m. Thursday in the area of South College Street and Interstate-85 in Auburn, Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said Friday afternoon.
There is no evidence of foul play currently, however, the investigation will continue until Blanchard’s whereabouts are determined, police said.
Police describe Blanchard as a light-complexioned black female who is 5-feet 6-inches tall and 125 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown hair and was last seen wearing a black dress, tan duck boots and black stockings.
Police ask if anyone with information regarding Blanchard and/or her vehicle’s whereabouts 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.