Prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the man suspected of murdering Aniah Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris, whose remains were found last month.
Charges against Ibraheem Yazeed, who is being held in Lee County Jail in Alabama without bond, were upgraded from first-degree kidnapping to capital murder, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said at a press conference Monday.
“We have determined that Mr. Yazeed was the lone person responsible in this case for abducting Aniah Blanchard,” Hughes told reporters.
“He is the only person responsible for Aniah’s murder.”
Blanchard, a 19-year-old student at Southern Union State Community College in Alabama, went missing Oct. 23 outside a gas station in Auburn.
Human remains found during the search for the teen were confirmed as belonging to her last week.
The medical examiner ruled that she died of a gunshot wound.
Yazeed, 29, was arrested Nov. 7 in Blanchard’s disappearance after her abandoned black Honda CRV was found in Montgomery with her own blood inside.
Police received a tip that Yazeed was allegedly seen Oct. 23 at the Auburn gas station forcing Blanchard into her car and driving away.
Another man, Antwain Shamar Fisher, 35, was also charged with first-degree kidnapping and is being held on $50,000 bond. David Lee Johnson Sr., 63, is charged with hindering prosecution in the case.
Hughes wouldn’t answer questions about the charges against those men.
“This case has shaken our community to its core,” Hughes said.