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UFC Fighter's Stepdaughter Likely a Victim of Foul Play

Search continues for Aniah Blanchard in Alabama
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2019 12:42 PM CDT
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Aniah Haley Blanchard was last seen wearing a black dress, black stockings, and tan boots.   (Auburn Police Division via AP)

(Newser) – Some 60 investigators from almost a dozen law enforcement agencies are now searching for the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris, who was last heard from a week ago. "There is obviously high probability and likelihood that there's some foul play involved," Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said Wednesday, per WSFA, as Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of any perpetrator. UFC President Dana White later added $25,000 to the pot. Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old student at Southern Union State Community College in Wadley, last communicated with a friend late on Oct. 23. She was reported missing a day later before her 2017 Honda CRV, showing damage from a recent crash, was discovered Friday at an apartment complex in Montgomery.

Police say Blanchard visited a convenience store in the overnight hours of Oct. 23. Her vehicle was later seen traveling southbound on South College Street in Auburn. Authorities believe damage to the front right fender and passenger-side door occurred sometime later, per CNN. Register said it was "completely out of character for her to be off the grid." Stepmother Yashiba Blanchard tells AL.com that the teen is a "homebody" who "doesn't leave her dog" and is not typically "out at 12am or 1am." "As parents, we've been trying to come up with different scenarios of what could have taken place," she says. Auburn Police Capt. Lorenza Dorsey has acknowledged speculation that Blanchard vanished after going to meet someone from a dating app, per AL.com. But "we can't rule it out or confirm at this point in the investigation," he says. (Read more missing teen stories.)

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