On Monday Alabama authorities recovered human remains which they believe may belong to Aniah Blanchard, the 19-year-old missing stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris.
“I can confirm that human remains have been found in Macon County and we have good reason to believe they are that of Aniah Blanchard,” Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said according to AL.com.
The remains were reportedly found in a rural area near New Hope Baptist Church, located in Macon County. Officials notified Blanchard’s relatives of the discovery prior to alerting the press.
“During the course of the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard, investigators obtained information regarding the possible location of a body. On November 25, 2019, at approximately 10:45 a.m., Auburn Police, along with members of the Task Force, Lee County DA’s Office, U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, ALEA and Montgomery County Sheriff Office, responded to a wooded area in the 38,000 block of County Road 2 in Shorter, Alabama,” a statement from Auburn police stated.
“After a brief search by Investigators they located what appeared to be human remains several feet into the woodline. A complete investigation is underway by ALEA and Auburn Police to determine the identity and how the victim came to be at that location. The examination will explore if the remains are those of Aniah Blanchard who went missing on October 24, 2019.”
“The case remains under investigation by the Auburn Police Division.”
District Attorney Hughes also revealed that a third person was arrested in connection to Blanchard’s disappearance. A man named David Johnson Jr. was arrested in Montgomery and charged of hindering prosecution. He was released from jail on a $7,500 bond, according to jail records.
Two other men, Ibraheem Yazeed and Antwain Fisher, were each charged with first-degree kidnapping and are being held in jail without bond.
Blanchard was reported missing on October 24, one day after she was last seen visiting a local convenience store. Blanchard’s family has posted messages on social media asking for the local community to help authorities with her disappearance.
A vigil was held in Homewood, Alabama, for the Southern Union State Community College student after reports that her remains may have been discovered, WTVM 13 reports.