‘The witness did not call 911’: Aniah’s parents on the nightmare of not knowing where their daughter is

Updated: Nov. 11, 2019 at 4:45 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC/WSFA) - Aniah Blanchard’s parents Angela Harris and stepfather Walt Harris talked to Janice Rogers Monday about the pain of not knowing where there daughter is.

Aniah was reported missing on Oct. 24, 2019. She was last seen the night before.

A total of 11 agencies are actively searching for her, with investigators keying in on the area between Auburn and Montgomery.

30-year-old Ibraham Yazeed is the man police believe kidnapped Aniah.

Yazeed made his first appearance in court Sunday afternoon before Judge Russell Bush.

The media - and a representative from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office - were not let into the building. WSFA 12 News later learned a gag order has been issued in this case, something rarely seen at the district court level. We questioned several officials, including the district attorney, but they declined to comment. Blanchard’s family was escorted out of the courthouse by deputies after the hearing concluded.

Aniah’s family said every day is getting harder and harder. But the most important message they have is there is still hope that Aniah is alive and out there somewhere.

They want to make sure people continue to look for her and report anything suspicious.

During the Good Day Extra interview Monday Janice asked the question we are all asking, “Why in the world would he kidnap her?” Angela and Walt Harris said they don’t understand, and they don’t have enough answers to know why this happened to their daughter.

During the first days after Aniah’s disappearance there was a report Aniah’s roommate got a Snapchat message from her saying she was going to meet a boy.

Her parents do not believe now Aniah sent that message. They explain why:

A witness told authorities he saw Yazeed force Blanchard into a car on the night of Oct. 23, and an affidavit states blood evidence, “indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury,” was found in the passenger compartment of Blanchard’s 2017 Honda CR-V. Her vehicle was found on Oct. 25 at an apartment complex in Montgomery, and it had sustained damage.

Why was that information not released earlier? Why did a person who said they saw Aniah pushed in a car not call 911?

Aniah’s mother said it’s her understanding the witness was scared. This is part of that interview:

Aniah’s parents said in two years she never missed a day at her job as a nanny.

They believe she went to that convenience store to buy chips to eat before bed.

Ibraheem Yazeed was out on bond for a kidnapping case out of Montgomery when he was arrested in this case, and that bond has been revoked. It’s unclear whether a bail has been set for the latest kidnapping count.

The U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force took him into custody shortly before midnight Thursday in Pensacola, Florida, and on Saturday he was behind bars in Lee County.

Janice Rogers asked Aniah’s parents how they are functioning through their pain for their other three children. They said it’s been so hard every day. Their youngest child said, “I miss my sissy.”

Aniah’s brother Elijah is staying in Auburn, where he lives, to help with things there and to feed Aniah’s dog.

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