A third suspect has been arrested, and human remains possibly belonging to Aniah Blanchard, have been found in the case of the missing Alabama college student.
The news no one following the case of missing Alabama student Aniah Blanchard wanted to hear arrived Monday: human remains have been found, with a strong possibility that those remains belong to Blanchard. The 19-year-old college student, stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris, had been missing since October 23, with two suspects in custody, both charged with kidnapping in her disappearance.
It’s likely those charges will be upgraded to murder. In addition, a third suspect has been taken into custody: David Lee Johnson Jr., of Montgomery, Alabama. Johnson has been charged with hindering prosecution.
“I can confirm that human remains have been found and we have good reason to suspect they are that of Aniah Blanchard,” District Attorney Brandon Hughes told WRBL News 3.
Auburn Police also released a statement regarding the discovery of human remains in Macon County, Alabama.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”
Blanchard was last seen at a gas station convenience store on the night of October 23, 2019, her image captured by security cameras. Also seen at that same location was Ibraheem Yazeed, who was later arrested and charged with kidnapping. Blanchard’s damaged vehicle was found abandoned several days after her disappearance, but forensic evidence led police to believe she had suffered a potentially fatal injury at some point following her abduction.
This past weekend, a second suspect, Antwon “Squirmy” Fisher was arrested. He was also charged with first-degree kidnapping. Fisher has a previous conviction for murder, while Yazeed was on bond for attempted murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of first-degree robbery in connection with an unrelated case earlier this year. Both Fisher and Yazeed have been denied bail in Blanchard’s case, while David Lee Johnson Jr. is being held on a $7,500 bond.
Tragically, it emerged at a probable cause hearing earlier this month that an eyewitness saw Blanchard being forced into her vehicle against her will on the night of October 23. However, the witness did not come forward, according to Auburn Police Investigator Josh Mixon, because his girlfriend “told him it was none of his business and to stay out of it.”