Human remains confirmed to be UFC fighter’s stepdaughter
Human remains found in an Alabama woodland have been confirmed as belonging to the stepdaughter of a UFC fighter, police have said.
The body of Aniah Blanchard was discovered near a road in the town of Shorter, Macon County, on Monday.
Her stepfather, UFC fighter Walt Harris, had previously offered a reward for any information on her whereabouts.
Three people have been arrested over the disappearance of the 19-year-old, who was last seen alive on 23 October in Auburn, Alabama, at a petrol station.
Her black Honda CRV was found abandoned days later more than 50 miles away at a block of flats in Montgomery.
Police said her blood was found in the car.
On Wednesday, Auburn Police Department said it was announcing that the remains were that of Ms Blanchard with a “heavy heart”.
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Police are now treating the case as homicide and have filed new charges in the investigation.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey said in a statement: “I am heartbroken for the family of Aniah Blanchard.
“Like Alabamians across our state, I was praying for a much different outcome. I will be keeping them in my prayers and ask the people of Alabama to continue to do so as well.
“During this holiday season, it is easy to get distracted in the hustle and bustle, but I urge us all to remember those that are hurting.”
She added: “I appreciate the diligence of the Auburn Police Division, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency and the many volunteers who were searching for Aniah. She is indeed loved and will be remembered by us all.”
The family of Ms Blanchard are yet to comment on the police announcement.
Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, has been detained by police on kidnapping charges in relation to Ms Blanchard’s disappearance.
Two other men have also been arrested on suspicion of helping dispose of evidence or hindering the investigation.