Published: Fri, November 08, 2019

Auburn Kidnapping Suspect Arrested In Escambia County

Auburn Kidnapping Suspect Arrested In Escambia County

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

Auburn police this week released images of Yazeed showing him at the gas station at the same time Blanchard was there.

Auburn Police said in a news release that Blanchard disappeared on October 23 after she was last seen on video surveillance inside a convenience store on South College Street. The suspect fled and was captured a short time later and taken into custody by marshals. 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. He faces attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery in that earlier case. Hobbs could not identify the suspect as Yazeed.

Yazeed, 29, was already known to authorities: He was freed from an Alabama jail in February after prosecutors said he beat a man unconscious and "near death" in a vicious robbery, court records show.

Authorities have revealed that evidence places Yazeed at the same place where Blanchard was last seen.

Her SUV had damage to the front right fender and scrapes on a passenger-side door.

In 2013, Yazeed was charged with possession of marijuana, crack cocaine, a pistol without a permit, drug paraphernalia and attempting to elude law enforcement during two separate incidents.

"It's very concerning to know that someone who has committed that sort of crime was out and in our community", Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said on Thursday.

Investigators initially said they didn't believe Blanchard was the victim of foul play, but evidence has since been recovered from her vehicle indicating that she was harmed, police said late last month.

Yazeed was out on bond at the time of Blanchard's disappearance.

Blanchard, a student at Southern Union College, was reported missing a day after her disappearance and police later found her 2017 Honda CRV in an apartment complex in Montgomery, some 55 miles away. A judge revoked that bond on Thursday. Those charges were ultimately dismissed by a grand jury, as were two attempted murder charges levied against Yazeed the next year after he allegedly tried to hit two police officers with a vehicle.

Blanchard has been missing since October 24.

She was reported missing by her family the following day.

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