Body found in Alabama woods may be missing college student Aniah Blanchard, authorities say


Aniah Haley Blanchard, 19, of Auburn has been missing since last week, police say.

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Police have found what they believe is the body of missing Alabama college student Aniah Blanchard, a prosecutor said.

Human remains were discovered in a wooded area of Macon County, Alabama, on Monday, according to Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes. He told CNN that authorities have “good reason to believe” the remains are Blanchard’s.

Also Monday, authorities arrested a third man in connection with Blanchard’s disappearance, Hughes said. The suspect, David Johnson Jr., of Montgomery, Alabama, was charged with hindering prosecution, said Hughes, who declined to elaborate.

Blanchard, 19, was last seen just before midnight October 23 in Auburn. Two days later her SUV was found damaged in an apartment complex an hour away in Montgomery.

Macon County, where the body was found, is between Auburn and Montgomery.

An investigation by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and Auburn police is underway to determine the body’s identity, according to an Auburn police news release.

Two other suspects have been arrested in connection with Blanchard’s disappearance. Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, was captured in Florida on November 7 and agreed to be extradited to Alabama, where he is charged with first-degree kidnappingAntwain Shamar Fisher, 35, was arrested Friday and charged with first-degree kidnapping.

CNN could not determine whether the three suspects have retained attorneys. Authorities in Lee County aren’t able to answer questions about the case because of a gag order.

Blanchard is the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris and a student at Southern Union State Community College, which has several campuses in East Alabama.

By Amir Vera, CNN

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