A man considered a suspect in the disappearance of Alabama college student Aniah Blanchard was arrested late Thursday night in Florida.
Auburn Police announced on Thursday that investigators had issued a warrant for the arrest of Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, for kidnapping in the first degree after investigators discovered Yazeed had been at the same convenience store where Blanchard was last seen alive on Oct. 23, according to a statement from police.
Investigators believe Yazeed was “involved in taking Aniah against her will.”
After making the alleged connection between Yazeed and Blanchard, who is the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris, the U.S. Marshals in Montgomery, Alabama received a tip that Yazeed had possibly fled to Escambia County in Florida, local station WEAR-TV reports.
U.S. Marshals in Florida converged in the area where he had been spotted and discovered him wearing all black. But as they waited for back up from the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement sources say Yazeed must have gotten spooked by the increased law enforcement presence and ran at around 11 p.m. last night. He was eventually captured hiding in a brushy area near I-10 and Pine Forest, the local station reports.
Yazeed, whose mugshot shows him with a swollen left eye, was booked into the Escambia County Jail around 2:30 a.m. Friday morning under the charge of being an out of state fugitive, WSFA reports.
He had reportedly been out of jail on bond for attempted murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping and two counts of first-degree robbery when Blanchard disappeared. A judge revoked his $280,000 bond on Thursday in light of the new investigation.
Surveillance footage captured 19-year-old Blanchard at an Auburn gas station around 11:30 p.m. on the night of Oct. 23. Her SUV is then seen leaving the gas station and traveling southbound on South College Street.
It was found abandoned a few days later at a Montgomery apartment complex about 50 miles away, with fresh damage to the passenger side of the car, but there was no sign of Blanchard. Auburn police have said evidence found in the vehicle led them to believe that Blanchard had been harmed and was a victim of foul play.
A reward of $105,000 from multiple sources has been offered for anyone with information about the Southern Union State Community College student’s disappearance.
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