College Student Aniah Blanchard Was Kidnapped at a Gas Station and Later Found Dead — What Happened to Her?

"The process of seeing justice done for Aniah and her family will not be swift, but I can promise it will be thorough."

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jul. 8 2024, Published 6:23 p.m. ET

Aniah Blanchard's car was discovered in November 2019, a little over two weeks after she was reported missing by her family. Police found enough blood in the car to indicate someone had sustained a life-threatening injury. It was later determined this was Blanchard's blood, and on Nov. 25, authorities discovered her remains 55 miles away from her last known location. What happened to Aniah Blanchard? Here's what we know.

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What happened to Aniah Banchard? She was kidnapped outside a Chevron in Alabama.

Just before midnight on Oct. 24, 2019, per the Montgomery Advertiser, Blanchard had exchanged some rather unorthodox text messages with her family. She had also Snapchatted her roommate who agreed with Blanchard's family — something sounded off with her friend. Blanchard had spent the day with her family and had dropped her brother off before heading into a convenience store attached to a Chevron gas station. Video surveillance of the 19-year-old shows she wasn't the only one there.

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The store's clerk told police he believed he saw the moment Blanchard was forced into a different vehicle. When her car was eventually located, there was significant damage to the right wheel and passenger door. A week after Blanchard was taken, a task force composed of 60 organizations was formed. It was crushingly clear that something happened to her.

Two days after human remains were found by local police on Nov. 25, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes confirmed it was Blanchard. It was now officially a homicide investigation, though by this time, authorities already had three men in custody in connection to Blanchard's disappearance.

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Ibraheem Yazeed, Antwain Shamar "Squirmy" Fisher, and David Johnson Jr. were arrested.

Less than a week after Blanchard vanished, police released a photo of the other person seen at the convenience store the night Blanchard was killed. The following day he was identified as 29-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed. On Nov. 8, Yazeed was arrested in Florida, and three years later, a grand jury indicted him and charged Yazeed with "one count of capital murder during a kidnapping, one count of capital murder during robbery, and one count of capital murder involving a victim in a vehicle," per People.

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Yazeed plead not guilty in March 2023, and is currently awaiting his trial. Antwon “Squirmy” Fisher was also arrested and charged with kidnapping but his case was dismissed by Lee County Assistant District Attorney Garrett Saucer ahead of Fisher's preliminary hearing. In a motion obtained by the Montgomery Advertiser, Saucer said, "The investigation has since revealed that Fisher was not present during the commission of the principal offense."

The third person arrested was David Johnson Jr., who has been charged with hindering prosecution in connection to the case. Yazeed is the only person being charged with first-degree kidnapping and murder. During a press conference Hughes said, "The process of seeing justice done for Aniah and her family will not be swift, but I can promise it will be thorough."

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