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Suspect arrested over kidnapping of UFC fighter’s stepdaughter

Ibraheem Yazeed has been charged in Alabama over the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, stepdaughter of Walt Harris.

Ibraheem Yazeed (Auburn Police Department via AP)
Ibraheem Yazeed (Auburn Police Department via AP)

By Jeff Martin, Associated Press

A man wanted over the disappearance of UFC fighter Walt Harris’s stepdaughter has been apprehended in Florida, but the whereabouts of the missing teenager remain a mystery.

Ibraheem Yazeed was arrested and booked into Escambia County Jail early on Friday. Jail records show he is being held as a fugitive after being charged in Alabama with first-degree kidnapping in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard.

The 19-year-old was last seen at a fuel station in Auburn, Alabama, on October 23.

Ms Blanchard, a student at Southern Union State Community College, was reported missing the next day.
Her car was later found abandoned in Montgomery, more than 50 miles away.

Police said the car was damaged and contained evidence that she had been harmed.

“I am prayerful that the lord touches this young man’s heart so he will be honest and truthful and tell the authorities where our daughter is located,” Ms Blanchard’s stepmother, Yashiba Blanchard, told Al.com.

“I feel as if the lord has heard our cries and the community’s cries for help with finding our daughter.”

Yazeed, 29, was already known to authorities. He was freed from an Alabama jail in February after prosecutors said he beat a man unconscious and “near death” in a vicious robbery, court records show.

He faces attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery charges in that case.

Prosecutors say he was armed with a handgun in January when he beat William Joseph Fuller, Alabama court records state. He and two other people also stole Mr Fuller’s Rolex watch, rifle, handgun, wallet, bank card and cash, authorities said.

Yazeed was out on bond at the time of Ms Blanchard’s disappearance.

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Ibraheem Yazeed (Escambia County Jail/AP)

In Florida, officers were called by US marshals to help them with the arrest alongside the Pine Forest exit on Interstate 10, Escambia Sheriff’s Major Andrew Hobbs said.

“When we arrived, the suspect fled the area, but he was located by Escambia sheriff’s officers and marshals in a wooded area near the exit,” Maj Hobbs said.

Yazeed left the scene in an ambulance. His jail booking photo shows him with a swollen left eye.

“The marshals were the ones who handcuffed him and took him into custody, you’d have to contact them about any injuries he received,” Maj Hobbs said.

PA

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