UPDATE: The person of interest in the case, Ibraheem Yazeed, has been arrested in Escambia County, Florida. We are working to get more information about his arrest.
AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL)- Late Wednesday afternoon the Auburn Police Department released an image of a person of interest in the case of missing teen Aniah Blanchard. The breaking development came as nationally recognized search and recovery teams gathered in Auburn to help law enforcement locate the missing Auburn 19-year-old.
Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a person captured on video surveillance inside the convenience store at the time Aniah Haley Blanchard was last seen and disappeared on Oct. 23.
“The individual in the video is described as a black male, early – mid 20’s, approximately 200 lbs., and is between 5’-8” & 5’-10”. He is wearing dark colored pants, dark colored shoes, and a camouflage colored hooded jacket with “Vans” in white writing across the back. Additionally, the individual in the video was observed leaving the area in what is described as a late 2000’s model Lincoln Town Car, silver or grey in color,” shared Auburn Police Chief Paul Register.
Anyone with information about this individual should call the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140, the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391, or the 24 hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.
As the search for missing Auburn teen, Aniah Blanchard enters day 14, nationally recognized search experts are joining forces with the Auburn’s task force to flood the area with boots on the ground and resources.
The search efforts are between Auburn, where Aniah was last seen on October 23 and Montgomery, where her SUV was located two days later on the 25th. Foul play is suspected in the case, and finding Aniah is the top priority for everyone involved.
Wednesday, K9 search teams with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children worked around the Park Place Apartments in Montgomery, where Blanchard’s Black SUV was discovered Friday, October 25.
Texas Equusearch is working Interstate 85 and other undisclosed areas between Auburn and Montgomery.
“We are taking the time to go through methodically; these areas we know are concerning to us between Auburn and Montgomery. We are doing all we can to give answers to this family,” shared Auburn Police, Chief Paul Register.
Tim Miller Founded Texas Equusearch to honor his daughter, who was kidnapped and murdered back in the ’80s.
“All of these cases are personal to me. I know what the family is feeling. I know what the struggles law enforcement has,” said Miller.
“We covered a fair amount of ground yesterday did a lot of mapping and recon work determining what resources to send in where. It’s a process of elimination, and we hope to get a little luck. We have the experience and the dedication, we need a little bit of luck,” said Miller.
Miller’s team arrived Sunday, met with law enforcement and Aniah’s family, and got to work.
Texas Equusearch has worked to find missing persons in 38 states and ten countries. They never ask a dime for their services but do take donations.
“The only thing worse for me than having a child murdered was that 17-months of not knowing. After Laura’s body was found, I knew I could try and put my life back together, but it would never be the same. I made a promise to her and God to never leave a family alone,” shared Miller.
Keep in mind specific search locations are not being shared to protect the investigations. Also, the public is asked to not disclose or share on social media the location of a search if they happen to see one taking place.
News 3 is told investigators have received hundreds of tips from the community as the reward for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible for her disappearance stands at $105,000.
Investigators say they are sorting through the information as a seventy member task force involving multiple agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Marshals, and Homeland Security are working to find the missing teen along with the two national search groups.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS IN ANIAH BLANCHARD CASE
Wednesday Night- October 23: Blanchard is seen on video at the Chevron Gas Station along South College Street in Auburn, Alabama. The video is the last known image of Blanchard, who told her roommate she was meeting a man that night.
Thursday – October 24: Blanchard is reporting missing to the police by her family. Investigators say Blanchard’s SUV is seen traveling in the early morning hours along South College Street in Auburn, Alabama.
Friday Night – October 25: Blanchard’s black Honda CR-V SUV is recovered at Park Place Apartments in Montgomery, Alabama. The vehicle has been damaged. Evidence is retrieved from inside the vehicle.
Thursday – October 31: Police confirm the first time publicly evidence taken from inside the SUV tested by the Department of Forensic Sciences indicates Aniah Blanchard has been harmed and is a victim of foul play.
The reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible stands at $105,000. Tony Garett with CrimeStoppers says tipsters can remain anonymous and still receive the reward, and for 22 years, tipsters’ identities have been protected, so there is absolutely no reason for you not to call. If you have any information regarding the location Aniah Blanchard, you may use their 24-hour tip line at 334-215-STOP (7867) or download the P3-tips app, or give information through the web at www.215STOP.com or Facebook page at Central Alabama CrimeStoppers. You may also use CrimeStoppers new 800 number, 1-833-AL1-STOP.