UFC fighter asks for help finding daughter who vanished in Alabama
A mixed martial artist is asking for the public’s help finding his teen stepdaughter after Auburn, Alabama, police said her vehicle was discovered abandoned an hour south, in Montgomery.
No one has heard from Aniah Blanchard since the 19-year-old communicated with a friend just before midnight Wednesday, the Auburn Police Department said in a statement.
Before it was found in Montgomery on Friday, her car was last seen about 12:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. ET) Thursday near the intersection of Interstate 85 and South College Street, a main thoroughfare into downtown Auburn.
“At this point, there is no evidence of foul play; however, the investigation will continue until her whereabouts are determined,” the statement said.
Blanchard is a black woman with a light complexion. She stands 5-foot-6-inches tall, weighs about 125 pounds and was last seen wearing a black dress, tan duck boots and black stockings.
After receiving a tip, police located her black 2017 Honda CR-V on Friday evening at an apartment complex off the busy Atlanta Highway, in the eastern part of the Alabama capital.
The Honda had damage to the front right fender and scrapes on the passenger-side door. Police said the vehicle had no damage when it was last seen Wednesday and asked anyone with information on Blanchard’s disappearance or on the damage to the SUV to contact them.
Blanchard is the stepdaughter of fighter Walt Harris, 36, ranked No. 10 among Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweights.
In posts on Instagram and Twitter, Harris pleaded for the public’s help in finding her. Harris and Blanchard’s mother live in Homewood, outside Birmingham.
Blanchard attends Southern Union, a state community college with multiple campuses in East Alabama.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Aniah and her family during this time,” the school said on its Facebook page.
The college and the family separately warned the public about a fraudulent GoFundMe page collecting donations to assist in finding the young woman.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the relationship between Aniah Blanchard and her stepfather.
CNN’s Alta Spells contributed to this report.