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Ibraheem Yazeed, wanted in Aniah Blanchard's disappearance, caught in Florida

Montgomery Advertiser, Ala. — Kirsten Fiscus Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.

Nov. 08-- Nov. 8--Ibraheem Yazeed, sought in connection to the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, has been captured, according to online records and police.

Yazeed was in Escambia County, Florida, jail on Friday morning. He was booked into the jail at 2:32 a.m. and being held without bond because he is an out-of-state fugitive. Yazeed will make his first court appearance at 8 a.m. Saturday in Escambia County.

About 11 p.m. Thursday, Escambia County sheriff's deputies assisted U.S. Mashals in apprehending a wanted man near Pine Forest Road and Interstate 10, Escambia County Sheriff's Maj. Andrew Hobbs said. The Pine Forest exit is the second exit east of the Alabama-Florida line. The suspect fled and was captured a short time later and taken into custody by marshals.

WEAR, a television station in Pensacola, captured video of Yazeed being detained and treated for injuries on the side of the road. Escambia County in the Florida Panhandle is about 144 miles south of Montgomery where Yazeed is from.

Yazeed, 29, was named a suspect in the case Thursday, about two weeks after the teen was last seen at a convenience store in Auburn.

A warrant on a charge of first-degree kidnapping was issued against Yazeed shortly after Auburn police released photographs of a person of interest in the case.

According to a charging affidavit obtained by the Pensacola News Journal and shared with the Montgomery Advertiser said blood "indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury" was discovered in the passenger's side of Aniah Blanchard's vehicle.

Days after Blanchard was last seen, her black, Honda CR-V was recovered at a Montgomery apartment complex, about 55 miles west of where the teen was last seen. There was damage to the passenger side that her family said was not present prior to that day. Police confirmed they suspect foul play based on evidence recovered inside the vehicle.

Yazeed was allegedly seen by a witness "forcing Blanchard into a vehicle against her will and then leaving with her in the vehicle" from an Auburn convenience station, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit, filed for a first-degree kidnapping charge, states the blood evidence was tested by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and confirmed to be Blanchard's.

There may be more people involved in Blanchard's disappearance, Auburn police Chief Paul Register said Thursday. Police initially said Yazeed was seen leaving the convenience store in a Lincoln Town Car, though Blanchard's car was driven back to Montgomery.

"We do anticipate other arrests, so we do thing there's a likelihood someone else is involved in this case and we hope to bring that person to justice as well," he said.

Ibraheem Yazeed's criminal background

Yazeed has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2011 when he was charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, according to court records. Those charges were ultimately dismissed by a grand jury, as were two attempted murder charges levied against Yazeed the next year after he allegedly tried to hit two police officers with a vehicle.

In 2013, Yazeed was charged with possession of marijuana, crack cocaine, a pistol without a permit, drug paraphernalia and attempting to elude law enforcement during two separate incidents. He was indicted on those charges in 2015, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced in two separate hearings. The same judge, former Circuit Judge Williams Shashy, sentenced him to serve 13 months in prison during each hearing. Those sentences were suspended, and he never stepped foot in a prison.

In 2017, Yazeed was charged with aggravated assault, battery of a police officer, possession of marijuana and fleeing police in Johnson County, Kansas. He was found not guilty of the battery and assault charges. A Judge in 2018 sentenced him to serve 16 months in prison, but he was released shortly after his sentencing being credited with 8 months while he awaited trial.

Less than a year later, back in Montgomery, Yazeed was then charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of robbery, attempted murder and possession of marijuana after two men were beaten inside a hotel room in January. One victim was nearly beaten to death, according to court records.

Yazeed was released on a $295,000 bond the day after his arrest in connection to the January incident and has been free since. A judge Thursday revoked his bond in the cases once a warrant was issued against Yazeed in connection to Blanchard's disappearance.

Blanchard, a student at a Lee County community college, was a native of Homewood, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham.

She loved playing softball in high school, Elijah Blanchard said, so much so that he once asked if she might consider walking on to a college team. But Aniah wanted to concentrate on getting her general education classes out of the way, her father said, as she decided what she might want to concentrate on for her studies. Like so many early college students, she wanted to consider several paths open at her feet: art, education, maybe business.

"I want everybody to know that my daughter is a good person, all the way around. I'm not just saying that because she's my daughter," Elijah Blanchard said. "It's evident she was special to so many people."

Anyone with any information concerning the whereabouts of Blanchard is asked to contact 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.

Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Kirsten Fiscus at 334-318-1798 or KFiscus@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @KDFiscus. Staff writer Melissa Brown contributed reporting.

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