AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Outrage is sweeping across east Alabama as the community learns an alleged violent and repeat offender was out on bond at the time police say he abducted 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard.
A massive manhunt is now underway and a warrant is out for the arrest of 30-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed of Montgomery. Yazeed is considered possibly armed and dangerous.
Auburn Police Chief Paul Register says the focus of the case has always been to find Blanchard and provide answers to her family.
“It’s about Aniah. Giving them some peace of mind about what has happened and what has taken place while knowing we’re doing everything we can to get this person off the street,” said Register.
Police say there is no indication at this point Blanchard and Yazeed knew one another prior to her suspected abduction.
“Yazeed is currently out on bond for the charges of Kidnapping and Attempted Murder from another jurisdiction; he should be considered dangerous and potentially armed,” said Register.
After news broke of Yazeed’s alleged involvement in the Blanchard case, Auburn City Council member Brett Smith posted a screenshot of prior criminal charges levied against Yazeed.
“This is the history of criminal offenses Ibraheem Yazeed has been charged with in Montgomery County. The most recent (2019) included: Attempted Murder (Two previously for attempted murder of two police officers), 1st Degree Kidnapping & 1st Degree Robbery. He was allowed to post bond and be free until his court date. It shocks the conscience he was allowed to post bond. Godspeed and prayers for safety to our brave law enforcement tracking him down and bringing him in,” shared Smith.
Smith’s post was shared more than 200 times in less than two hours with dozens more commenting and agreeing with the Auburn City Counselors concern under his post.
News 3 has been inundated as well with dozens of messages from concerned citizens asking why Yazeed was out on bond considering his previous charges. Frustrated residents are also voicing their opinions by commenting on social media.
Law enforcement sources have shared their frustration as well as once again agents work to track Yazeed down. Yazeed remains at large and could be in Auburn, Montgomery or anywhere in between.
”A warrant has been obtained for his arrest for the charge of Kidnapping in the first degree. Currently, the US Marshal’s Fugitive Taskforce along with other agencies assisting in this investigation are actively searching for Yazeed. The charge stems from the investigation of the disappearance of Aniah Haley Blanchard between Wednesday, October 23, 2019, and Thursday, October 24, 2019,” said Cheif Register.
Investigators say further investigation and analysis of the evidence has determined Yazeed, was at the same location Blanchard was last seen and is involved in taking Aniah against her will.
Additional charges and/or arrests are anticipated.
Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts or having information on this case is asked to call the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140, Central Alabama Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP, or the 24-hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.
Police say Yazeed was captured on video surveillance inside the Chevron convenience store along south College street in Auburn at the time Blanchard was last seen on video inside the store prior to her disappearance on Oct. 23.
The image was shared with the public Wednesday night and Yazeed was identified.
Blanchard’s vehicle was located in Montgomery on Friday, October 25. Investigators say evidence taken from inside the vehicle and tested indicates Blanchard has been harmed and is the victim of foul play.
Blanchard has not been located.
National search groups have joined Auburn’s 70 member multi-agency task force searching for the Auburn teen.
The reward stands at $105,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for Aniah’s disappearance. The Auburn Police Department says the public has been invaluable in providing information.