UPDATE 8:55 p.m. 10/21/2021 (WRBL) – #ForeverAniahDay has been set for Saturday Oct. 23 at Max Fitness on East University in Auburn.
The educational event with live music and vendors will take place from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Free self-defense classes will be taught from 10 -11 a.m. and 12-1 p.m. by Walt “Big Ticket” Harris and Elijah Blanchard.
The organization Aniah’s Heart will be providing safety education and situational awareness. VET DRTI will also be there to provide more information and education with rape counselors of east Alabama.
At 11 p.m. there will be a vigil Saturday night on Samford Lawn of Auburn University.
Aniah’s Heart, a non-profit group started by Blanchard’s mother, Angela Harris, will host “Forever Aniah Day” on Oct. 23, which will feature discussions on safety education, as well as celebrate Blanchard’s life. The location of the event in Auburn has not been released.
According to a post on Angela Harris’ Facebook page, the public is encouraged to wear baby blue to remember Aniah during the day.
Blanchard was last seen at a convenience store on South College Street in Auburn on October 23, 2019. Her body was later found in Macon County on November 25, 2019.
Auburn Police identified Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, of Montgomery, as a suspect in the case after surveillance video revealed he was at the store the same time as Blanchard. At the time of Blanchard’s disappearance, Yazeed was out on bond at the time in an unrelated kidnapping and attempted murder case in Montgomery.
On November 7, 2020, Yazeed was captured in Escambia County, Florida by U.S. Marshals and was sent back to Alabama to await trial. He was originally charged with first-degree kidnapping, but the charge was upgraded to capital murder after Blanchard’s body was found.
According to its website, the mission of Aniah’s Heart is “dedicated to preservation of life through prevention awareness, and empowering the vulnerable to significantly impact the incidents of violence and crime in our society.”