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UFC News: Suspect denied bail in the missing case of Heavyweight Walt Harris' stepdaughter

Anwesha Nag
Published Nov 21, 2019
Nov 21, 2019 IST

Walt Harris with his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard
Walt Harris with his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard

A suspect in the possible kidnapping of 19-year old Aniah Blanchard has been denied bail by a Lee County judge and has been ordered to submit a DNA sample for testing.

Blanchard, who happens to be UFC Heavyweight fighter Walt Harris' stepdaughter, went missing on October 23. Harris put up an Instagram post following the incident in a plea to his followers to help him find his missing stepdaughter. As per the initial report, she was last seen or heard by a friend with whom she communicated a little before midnight. Her debit card was also last used around the same time.

Auburn Police has been working the case and made an arrest on November 7 of 29-year old Ibraheem Yazeed and charged him with first-degree kidnapping, who was denied bond on Wednesday after a 30-minute hearing. The news was first published at Montgomery Advertiser.

Gag-order imposed on the case; suspect to submit a DNA swab

The investigation by the Auburn Police Department led to the recovery of Blanchard's missing vehicle at a Montgomery apartment complex a few days after she went missing. According to Josh Mixon, a detective with the department, they have also unearthed a witness who identified Yazeed as the person who forced Blanchard into a car against her will at a convenience store and drove away. The witness is yet to be publicly identified.

According to the statement of Garrett Saucer, an assistant district attorney with Lee County DA's office, DNA traces of a male profile has been found in Blanchard's car, on the basis of which Judge Russell Bush ordered a swab to be taken of the suspect.

During the hearing, Yazeed's attorney Elijah Beaver focused on the authenticity of the witness and questioned Mixon about the witness' criminal history, to which Mixon responded that he had reviewed it and found only a few misdemeanors.

Yazeed, on the other hand, has quite the rap sheet. His first arrest goes back to 2011, when he was charged with first-degree robbery, and then in 2012 when he allegedly tried to kill two police officers by ramming a vehicle into their car. He was acquitted in both cases. With two more arrests in 2015 and 2017 for possession of illegal firearms and marijuana, he was last tried and bailed at $295,000 earlier this year on the charges of kidnapping, assault, and robbery.

In the hearing, Beaver objected to the appearance of Blanchard's mother and stepfather, Angela and Walt Harris on Dr. Phil and making comments on the case, which Beaver claims would potentially taint every juror in the state of Alabama. Judge Bush has imposed a gag order on the case, to which media houses are showing discontent.

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