Law enforcement expert weighs in on timeline of Aniah Blanchard investigation

Experts weigh in on Blanchard investigation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - As the days drag on in the search for Aniah Blanchard, her family and the community are hopeful for new tidbits of information and promising news.

Thurday afternoon, police identified Ibraheem Yazeed as a suspect in the kidnapping of Blanchard. Police confirm an arrest warrant for Yazeed was issued Wednesday evening or early Thursday morning.

According to court records obtained by WBRC, Yazeed was at the convenience store on South College Street in Auburn - the last known location of Blanchard.

Law enforcement experts say while people want to get information as it happens, that’s not how it works.

Former Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ted Sexton has worked abduction cases before. He says they’re both difficult and fluid. “This question is somewhat difficult for the public to understand at times,” said Sexton, “First of all, the law enforcement community is concerned with the safety of the victim and trying to find the victim.”

Sexton says investigators are developing suspects, timelines, and pinpointing locations. He says they have to be very careful about what information is released to the public and when it’s released because the timing could further jeopardize the victim and make it more difficult to find the suspect.

“Law enforcement has a great deal of decision making to make,” said Sexton. “We’re in a different environment. People want to know things right now, but the question of the safety of the victim or the safety of individuals as far as the release of information. There are a number of things being considered.”

Sexton says investigators also have to weigh that they’re not just looking to find the victim, but also hold the suspect accountable in court.

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