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Arrest made over UFC fighter's missing stepchild

Written by 
Published in Breaking News
Friday, 08 November 2019 05:34

Authorities have arrested the man wanted in the disappearance of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris' stepdaughter.

Jail records show that Ibraheem Yazeed was arrested in Florida and booked into the Escambia County Jail early Friday. He is charged with first-degree kidnapping in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard, 19, who was last seen at a gas station in Auburn, Alabama, on Oct. 23.

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 Blanchard had been harmed.

Auburn police this week released images of Yazeed, showing him at the gas station while Blanchard was there. They determined that he was involved in taking her against her will.

A reward of about $105,000 -- which includes contributions from UFC president Dana White and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones -- was offered for information leading to an arrest.

Alabama State Bureau of Investigation Capt. Joe Herman told WSFA-TV that Yazeed was out on bail at the time of Blanchard's disappearance. He faces charges of attempted murder and kidnapping in a February case. A judge revoked the bail Thursday.

Escambia Sheriff's Maj. Andrew Hobbs said deputies were called by U.S. marshals to help them with the arrest at about 11 p.m. Thursday.

"When we arrived, the suspect fled the area, but he was located by Escambia sheriff's officers and marshals in a wooded area," 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," Hobbs said. "You'd have to contact them about any injuries he received."

A request for information left with the Pensacola office of the U.S. Marshals Service by The Associated Press wasn't immediately returned early Friday.

Harris, 36, was scheduled to fight Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC Washington on Dec. 7, but he withdrew from the fight in the wake of Blanchard's disappearance.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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