The kidnapping suspect in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard has been arrested.
Ibraheem Yazeed, 30, was captured in Pensacola, Florida, by U.S. Marshals on Thursday (Nov. 7) after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The 30-year-old man was booked into jail early Friday (Nov. 8) morning, the New York Daily News reports.
It’s been two weeks since the disappearance of Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris, who was last seen at a convenience store in Alabama on Oct. 23.
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Police report that evidence determined Yazeed, who is from Montgomery, was at the same location where Blanchard was last seen, according to the Auburn Police Department, CBS42 reports.
Surveillance video showed Yazeed inside the Alabama convenience store the same day Blanchard disappeared, the New York Daily News reports.
Her family reported her missing on Oct. 24. The following day on Friday, Oct. 25, Blanchard’s vehicle, a black 2017 Honda CRV, was recovered at an apartment complex in Montgomery, approximately 50 miles from Auburn.
On Oct. 31, the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences examined Blanchard’s vehicle and determined she was “harmed and is considered to be a victim of foul play.”
The New York Daily News reports local Pensacola officers received a tip alerting them Yazeed was in the area of Pine Forest and I-10 in Escambia County, and they notified the U.S. Marshals Service.
Yazeed was reportedly wearing all black at the time and seemed to grow more and more concerned by the increasing law enforcement presence.
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“When we arrived on the scene, the suspect fled the area, but he was located by Escambia sheriff’s officers and marshals in a wooded area near the exit,” Maj. Andrew Hobbs, of the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, told WEAR-TV.
He was taken to a local hospital complaining of chest pains and was later booked into the Escambia County Jail where he awaits an extradition hearing, WEAR-TV reports.
Authorities told the TV station additional arrests are expected in this case as the search for Blanchard continues.
Yazeed has a long history of violent crimes, including kidnapping and attempted murder, CBS42 reports.
In fact, he was out on bond from previous charges of kidnapping, robbery and attempted murder for a case out of Montgomery as the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force assisted in the search to find him.
He allegedly robbed, beat, and held one man against his will on Jan. 29, and beat another man “near death,” according to court records, CBS42 reports.
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While on the run, Yazeed, who is 5 feet, 10 inches and weighs 220 pounds, was considered dangerous and could potentially be armed, according to a press release sent out by Central Alabama CrimeStoppers, CBS42 reports.
In 2017, he was arrested for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer in Johnson County, Kansas. He was also arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer in January 2012, but a grand jury did not return a bill on him, and he was never indicted on the charge, according to court records, CBS42 reports.
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Again, Yazeed dodged an indictment in a 2011 case when he was charged with robbing someone at gunpoint in Montgomery with three other people, CBS42 reports.
A grand jury has never indicted him on any charges, CBS42 reports.
The reward for information on Blanchard’s whereabouts has increased to $105,000, according to CBS42.
Donations have poured in from people like Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, UFC President Dana White, UFC athlete Jon Jones, anonymous donors, and residents.
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