Remains believed to be UFC fighter’s stepdaughter
Human remains found in a wooded area in Alabama are believed to be that of a UFC fighter’s missing stepdaughter.
The body was discovered near a road in the town of Shorter, Macon County, on Monday.
Three people have been arrested over the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, who was last seen on 23 October.
Her stepfather is UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris.
Lee County district attorney Brandon Hughes said officials have “good reason to believe” the body is that of Ms Blanchard.
Following her disappearance, Ms Blanchard’s black Honda car was found abandoned more than 50 miles away at an apartment complex in Montgomery, Alabama.
Her blood was found inside the vehicle, and Auburn police detective Josh Mixon said it appeared she had suffered a life-threatening injury.
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He added that convenience store video footage showed a man looking at Ms Blanchard as he was buying a drink.
Mr Nixon said the man was later identified as Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, and a man at the store told investigators he saw Yazeed force Ms Blanchard into her car and drive away.
Police have arrested Yazeed and a second man, 35-year-old Antwain Shamar Fisher, of Montgomery.
Fisher is said to have helped Yazeed by disposing of evidence and driving him, police said.
A third man, David Johnson Jr, was arrested in Montgomery and charged with hindering prosecution in the case.
The discovery of a body came after a month-long search for Ms Blanchard, whose face appeared on billboards across the county.
Auburn Police said on Monday that investigators “obtained information regarding the possible location of a body”.
Officers searched a wooded area in Shorter and discovered what appeared to be human remains.
Auburn police said in a statement: “A complete investigation is under way… to determine the identity and how the victim came to be at that location.
“The examination will explore if the remains are those of Aniah Blanchard.”