UFC Fighter Walt Harris Said His Murdered Stepdaughter Came to Him in a Dream and Said "Fight"

"She was sitting in our living room, and there was just a beam of light on her, and she had her arms out and I hugged her."

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jul. 8 2024, Published 12:05 p.m. ET

On Oct. 24, 2019, the family of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard reported her missing after she didn't return to her apartment. Blanchard was a student at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, Ala., where she was studying early childhood education.

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One of the first people to raise the alarms about the young student's disappearance was Blanchard's stepfather. As a UFC fighter, Walt Harris is used to a challenge, but this was a different kind of struggle.

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Aniah Blanchard's stepfather was heartbroken by what happened.

Harris immediately joined in the search for the stepdaughter he shared with Angela Hayley-Harris, whom he married in January 2010, per CBS News. In speaking with the outlet, Harris described Blanchard as someone who could always make you feel better regardless of what was going on on in your life. "After wins … we celebrate," he said. "If it's a loss, she'd always pick me up, and … she was always that rock … that voice that kept me going."

Harris never treated Blanchard and her siblings like stepchildren. "They were my children. It's just the way I saw it, you know. I loved them like my own," When Blanchard's body was discovered on November 25, Harris and Hayley-Harris were called into the district attorney's office where they showed them a photograph of Blanchard's boot. Harris excused himself and began punching a wall in the hallway. He fell apart and thought he would never recover.

These were dark times for Harris's family, and for a while he considered retiring from the sport he loved. That is until one night Blanchard came to him in a dream. "She was sitting in our living room, and there was just a beam of light on her and she had her arms out and I hugged her, and she said, 'Keep going,'" he recalled. "And I just woke up, like with a renewed vigor, I felt fresh." Although he lost a fight on the anniversary of Blanchard's death, he said, "I will always fight for my baby girl."

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