Body found in Alabama woods may be missing college student
Police have found what they believe is the body of missing Alabama college student Aniah Blanchard, a prosecutor said.
Also Monday, authorities arrested a third man in connection with Blanchard’s disappearance, according to Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes. The suspect, David Johnson Jr., of Montgomery, Alabama, was charged with hindering prosecution, said Hughes, who declined to elaborate.
Human remains were discovered in a wooded area of Macon County, Alabama, on Monday, according to Hughes. He told CNN that authorities have “good reason to believe” the remains are Blanchard’s. Macon County is between Auburn and Montgomery.
An investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Auburn police is underway to determine the body’s identity, according to an Auburn Police Department news release.
Blood was found in Blanchard’s SUV
Blanchard, 19, was last seen just before midnight October 23 in Auburn. Two days later her SUV was found damaged in an apartment complex an hour away in Montgomery.
Blanchard is the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris and a student at Southern Union State Community College, which has several campuses in East Alabama.
Two other suspects have been arrested in connection with Blanchard’s disappearance. Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, was captured in Florida on November 7 and agreed to be extradited to Alabama, where he is charged with first-degree kidnapping. Antwain Shamar Fisher, 35, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree kidnapping.
CNN could not determine whether Yazeed or Johnson have retained attorneys. Authorities in Lee County aren’t able to answer questions about the case because of a gag order. CNN has reached out to Fisher’s attorney, but has not heard back.
Blanchard’s blood was found on the passenger side of her SUV, according to an affidavit. The blood “was indicative of someone suffering from a life-threatening injury,” the document read.
Video surveillance footage from a convenience store in Auburn showed Blanchard and Yazeed at the store at the same time, the affidavit read. A witness told police he saw Yazeed forcing Blanchard into a vehicle against her will and then leaving with her.
Fisher helped Yazeed by providing transportation and helping him dispose of the evidence, the affidavit said.
CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.