Suspect in disappearance of Aniah Blanchard ordered to take DNA test

Investigators found male DNA in Aniah Blanchard's car.

November 21, 2019, 3:01 PM

The suspect charged with kidnapping 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris, has been ordered by a judge to take a DNA test, according to reports.

On Wednesday, Lee County District Judge Russell Bush granted a request by prosecutors to force Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, to submit his DNA after investigators found male DNA in Blanchard's car, The Associated Press reported.

Blanchard was last seen at a convenience store in Auburn, Alabama, on Oct. 23. Surveillance video from inside the convenience store showed both Yazeed and Blanchrad inside at the same time, and a witness outside the store said he saw Yazeed force her into her car, according to an arrest affidavit.

PHOTO: Aniah Haley Blanchard in an undated photo.
Aniah Haley Blanchard in an undated photo.
Auburn Police Department

The surveillance footage showed Yazeed looking over at Blanchard in the store as he bought a beverage, Auburn Police Det. Josh Mixon testified at his preliminary hearing, which was attended by Harris, along with Blanchard's father and mother, according to the AP.

The witness who saw Blanchard being forced into her car told police that he cried after not immediately telling police about the encounter, saying his girlfriend told him not to get involved, Mixon said.

Yazeed was arrested on Nov. 7 in Escambia County, Florida, and was extradited back to Alabama. He is charged with kidnapping in the first degree, a designation that includes the intent to inflict physical injury.

When he was arrested in Pensacola, Yazeed allegedly admitted to authorities that it was him in the surveillance video but requested legal counsel after, prosecutors said in court, ABC Birmingham affiliate WBMA reported.

It was also revealed in court that a man had driven Yazeed from Montgomery to Pensacola, according to the station.

PHOTO: Police issued an arrest warrant for Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in connection to the disappearance of a missing Alabama college student.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, in connection to the disappearance of a missing Alabama college student.
Auburn Police Division

Blanchard's vehicle, a black 2017 Honda CRV, was found on Oct. 25 near an apartment complex in Montgomery, Alabama, about 50 miles away from the convenience store. She was reported missing by her family the day before.

Blood evidence "indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury" was found on the passenger side of vehicle, according to the arrest affidavit. The blood was confirmed to be Blanchard's.

At the time of Yazeed's arrest, he was out of jail on $60,000 bond. Bush denied a request from Yazeed's defense attorney to grant Yazeed bail as well as a request to have prosecutors disclose the identify of the witness.

Yazeed has 26 prior arrest, prosecutors said in court, according to WBMA.

Yazeed's attorney, Elijah Beaver, declined to comment on the case to ABC News, citing a gag order imposed by the court.

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