Aniah Blanchard’s father believes daughter’s kidnapping was ‘random’

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It has been nearly three weeks since Aniah Blanchard went missing from Auburn. Nevertheless, her father remains confident that she will be found.

During an interview Friday morning with CBS 42’s Alissa Rothermich, Elijah Blanchard said he has faith in the Auburn Police Department and their efforts to locate Aniah, a 19-year-old student at Southern Union State Community College who is originally from Homewood.

Blanchard’s words come a couple of days after Texas Equusearch announced that they would be suspending their search for Aniah.

“Well, we kind of figured that because I don’t think they had was a specific area they wanted to search in, but we have full confidence that the Auburn Police Department is going to do their due efforts to make sure everything goes good,” Elijah said.

On Thursday, Aniah’s mother, Angela Harris, and her stepfather, Walt, were interviewed on “Dr. Phil,” where they said they believed their daughter’s kidnapping was planned. However, Elijah and his wife, Yoshiba, believe Aniah’s abduction was part of a random carjacking. Shortly after she was reported as missing, Aniah’s Honda was found damaged near an apartment complex in Montgomery with traces of her blood inside.

“Basically, by seeing the photos from the car being damaged, we initially start coming up with different scenarios as far as what could have possibly happened and like I said, it’s random,” Yoshiba said. “We initially stated that we thought it was a carjacking, so that has always been our position.”

In the weeks since Aniah disappeared, her family has received prayers and words of encouragement from people around the world, from Scotland to Uganda.

“We need all the prayers,” Yoshiba said. “We need the community as a whole to get Aniah’s name out there.”

Elijah Blanchard also took the time to commend the Auburn Police Department on their efforts searching for Aniah, adding that Chief Paul Register calls him every day to give updates on the case.

“They’ve been really good with communicating with us,” he said. “I have no problem with what they are doing. They are strictly professional, but they don’t want to give us anything that will be damaging or anything like that, but they are communicating with us daily.”

Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, of Montgomery was arrested in Escambia County, Florida was arrested Nov. 8 and charged with Aniah’s kidnapping. Since being extradited to the Lee County Detention Facility, his lawyers have claimed that he has received death threats from inmates. He has since been moved to solitary confinement.


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