AUBURN, Ala (WRBL) – The disappearance of Aniah Blanchard is inspiring a change.com online petition for stricter bond conditions for repeat offenders.
As of Friday night, 9,000 people plus have signed, including Blanchard’s mother Angela Harris.
“Because a violent offender out on bond has kidnapped my daughter,” wrote Harris.
The petition was started a day ago by Amy Crum as outrage continues rolling across east Alabama after 30-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed of Montgomery was named as the suspect in Aniah’s disappearance.
“This man should have never been released on bond after he attempted to murder an officer in 2012, and continued his violent path after being released from those charges, went on to victimize more people, including but not limited to, Aniah Blanchard. The situation involving Aniah would have most likely never happened when it did. I am asking that if anybody commits a violent offense that they’re not allowed to be released on bond, and if they are, they must remain on house incarceration until the verdict of the crime against them is read, “ stated Crum.
Auburn Police Chief Paul Register says the focus of the case has always been to find Blanchard and provide answers to her family.
“It’s about Aniah. Giving them some peace of mind about what has happened and what has taken place,” said Register.
Police say there is no indication at this point Blanchard and Yazeed knew one another prior to her abduction.
“Yazeed was out on bond for the charges of Kidnapping and Attempted Murder from another jurisdiction,” said Register.
After news broke of Yazeed’s alleged involvement in the Blanchard case, Auburn City Council member Brett Smith posted a screenshot of prior criminal charges levied against Yazeed.
“This is the history of criminal offenses Ibraheem Yazeed has been charged within Montgomery County. The most recent (2019) included: Attempted Murder (Two previously for the attempted murder of two police officers), 1st Degree Kidnapping & 1st Degree Robbery. He was allowed to post bond and be free until his court date. It shocks the conscience he was allowed to post bond. Godspeed and prayers for safety to our brave law enforcement tracking him down and bringing him in” shared Smith.
Yazeed was captured in Escambia County, Florida, late Thursday night, nearly 144 miles south of Montgomery.
News 3’s spoke exclusively with the family of a 77-year-old man who investigators say Yazeed nearly beat to death and kidnapped just months before he is suspected of abducting Blanchard.
In February of this year, investigators with ALEA’s SBI arrested Yazeed and two others after a motorist reported an erratic driver to Macon County Sheriff’s Deputies. When Yazeed was pulled over, a 77-year-old man was found nearly beaten to death inside the vehicle after police say they robbed him at near a Montgomery hotel, almost beat him to death and kidnapped him.
Yazeed and two others were charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, and robbery. Yazeed was able to make his $280,000 bond and was freed.
Shortly after Yazeed was outed as a suspect in Blanchard’s kidnapping, the family of the 77-year-old east Alabama victim released a statement to News 3:
“We are hurting as we think of what the Blanchard family is going through, but we are hopeful Aniah will be found alive and well. It is hard to imagine how the State of Alabama could release someone this violent from prison only a few months after the attack on our family. We do know authorities that keep all of us safe are doing all they can to bring anyone who is involved with Aniah’s disappearance to justice. We are grateful for the men and women who are first responders.”
The family asked News 3 to keep their identity private and plan to reach out to Aniah’s family in the future to offer their support.
Thursday afternoon, investigators released Yazeed was a suspect in Blanchard’s disappearance after he was seen on October 23 surveillance video from inside the Chevron at the same time Blanchard was in the store.
Thursday night, Yazeed was carried out on a stretcher allegedly complaining of chest pains after he became the captured target of a massive manhunt and taken into custody by U.S. Marshalls in Escambia County, Florida.
Friday morning, Yazeed was booked into jail and being held without bond as he will be extradited to Lee County to face charges in the Blanchard case.
Police believe others were involved in Blanchard’s abduction, and there is no indication Blanchard and Yazeed knew one another before the alleged attack.
News 3 has learned blood belonging to the Auburn teen was discovered in her abandoned SUV, and a witness has come forward saying they saw the suspect force Blanchard into her SUV at the gas station where she was last seen the night of October 23.
The Affidavit Charging Crime obtained by News 3 reads:
“The victim’s vehicle, a black 2017 Honda CRV, was later located abandoned in Montgomery, Alabama. Blood evidence was discovered in the passenger’s compartment of the vehicle that was indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury. The evidence was submitted to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and confirmed to be that of Aniah Blanchard. Video evidence from a convenience store located at South College St. in Auburn placed both Blanchard and a black male later positively identified as Ibraheem Yazeed at the store during the same time, this was the last time she was seen. During the subsequent investigation, a witness identified Yazeed as the individual, he observed, forcing Blanchard into a vehicle against her will and then leaving with her in the vehicle. Blanchard has not been located at this time.”
Meanwhile, the search continues for Aniah Blanchard since she was last seen on Wednesday, October 23. Her SUV was located in Montgomery on Friday, October 25.
With Yazeed’s capture, there is hope new information will reveal Aniah Blanchard’s location and answer her family, investigators, and community’s heartfelt plea to bring Aniah home.
Anyone with information on this case is asked to call the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140, Central Alabama Crime Stoppers at 334-215-STOP, or the 24-hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.
The reward stands at $105,000 for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons responsible for Aniah’s disappearance. The Auburn Police Department says the public has been invaluable in providing information.