Florida authorities arrest suspect in disappearance of Alabama college student

Cheryl Sanders
November 8, 2019

Blanchard, a student at a Lee County community college, was a native of Homewood, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham.

Police in Auburn, Alabama, issued an arrest warrant Thursday for Yazeed on suspicion of kidnapping in the first degree, according to a police statement.

A man wanted in connection with the disappearance of Alabama college student Aniah Blanchard has been arrested in Florida, authorities said Friday.

According to our CBS affiliate, WKRG, Yazeed was booked in the Escambia County Jail at 2:30 a.m. on Friday. He is being held at the local county jail, according to Maj.

Authorities in Florida have arrested a man wanted in the disappearance of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris' stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard.


In Florida, deputies were called by USA marshals to help them with the arrest at about 11 p.m. on Thursday alongside the Pine Forest exit on Interstate 10, Escambia Sheriff's Maj.

"The marshals were the ones who handcuffed him and took him into custody", Hobbs said.

"To say the least, it's upsetting", Walt Harris told NBC News earlier Thursday, when Yazeed was identified as a person of interest.

Yazeed had already been identified as a person of interest in the case of Aniah Blanchard.

Yazeed's run-ins with Alabama law enforcers date back nearly a decade.


Yazeed, who was arrested alongside several others earlier this year on charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and first-degree robbery in an incident, that left a 77-year-old man severely beaten, should be considered armed and unsafe, according to police.

Her vehicle was later found abandoned in Montgomery, more than 50 miles away.

Yazeed pleaded guilty to felony drug possession in 2015, was charged with attempted murder in 2012 and was charged with two counts of robbery in 2011.

Two days after she disappeared Aniah's black SUV was discovered in an apartment complex about 50 miles away from that store.

Yazeed was released on a $295,000 bond the day after his arrest in connection to the January incident and has been free since. A judge revoked the bond Thursday. It is believed that Blanchard was taken against her will, the report notes.


Anyone with any information concerning the whereabouts of Blanchard is asked to contact 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.

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