By Joshua Huff, sports editor
AUBURN — The man charged with the disappearance and death of Aniah Blanchard is now facing a capital murder charge, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said Monday afternoon.
Hughes announced at a press conference that he will seek the death penalty against Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, who is charged in the shooting death of Blanchard.
Three men have been arrested in connection with Blanchard’s disappearance: Yazeed, Antwain Fisher, 35, and David Lee Johnson Jr., 63.
Fisher is charged with first-degree kidnapping. He is being held on $50,000 bond. Fisher is alleged to have disposed of evidence and provided Yazeed with transportation. Fisher previously pleaded guilty to felony murder in 2007. He served three years in prison.
Johnson is believed to have known that his son provided Yazeed with transportation. He instead lied to authorities, who allege that Johnson knew that Yazeed was wanted by police at the time.
Blanchard, 19, was last seen at a convenience store in Auburn. The charging document says a witness identified Yazeed as the man he saw force Blanchard into a car. Blanchard’s vehicle, which contained blood evidence indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury, was discovered abandoned at an apartment complex in Montgomery, Alabama.
On Nov. 25, 2019, at approximately 10:45 a.m., Auburn Police, along with members of the Task Force, Lee County DA’s Office, U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, ALEA and Montgomery County Sheriff Office, responded to a wooded area in Shorter, Alabama.
After a brief search by investigators, they located what appeared to be human remains several feet into the woodline.
“I am heartbroken for the family of Aniah Blanchard. Like Alabamians across our state, I was praying for a much different outcome,” Governor Kay Ivey said. “I will be keeping them in my prayers and ask the people of Alabama to continue to do so as well. During this holiday season, it is easy to get distracted in the hustle and bustle, but I urge us all to remember those that are hurting. I appreciate the diligence of the Auburn Police Division, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the many volunteers who were searching for Aniah. She is indeed loved and will be remembered by us all.”
Hughes said that the cause of death was a gunshot wound.