Search continues for Aniah Blanchard; recovery group meeting with police to help

Updated: Nov. 4, 2019 at 2:48 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A high profile volunteer search and recovery company will meet with Auburn investigators about getting involved in the search for 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, the company said Sunday.

Texas Equusearch, which specializes in horse mounted recovery efforts, said they are not officially involved in the search, but they have team members on standby to assist once they are officially invited to help in search efforts. The group posted a flyer about Blanchard’s disappearance to help spread awareness about this case.

Blanchard was reported missing Thursday, Oct. 24. She last talked to a friend just before midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 23.

Monday, police released a short surveillance video that showed Blanchard at a convenience store on South College Street in Auburn late on the night of Oct. 23. It was recorded just before her SUV was seen traveling southbound on South College Street.

Her Honda CR-V was found Friday, Oct. 25 at a Montgomery apartment complex with damage to the passenger side. The apartment complex is on Boardwalk Boulevard, which is not far off Atlanta Highway.

Thursday, police said evidence found inside the vehicle indicated she had been harmed.

Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said investigators were keying in on the area between Auburn and Montgomery. The cities are about 50 miles apart.

Blanchard is a native of Homewood and a student at Southern Union State Community College in Lee County.

Her stepfather is UFC fighter Walt Harris.

As of Friday evening, a reward of $105,000 from multiple sources had been pledged toward the effort to find her. Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White, UFC fighter Jon Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Dominance MMA Ali Abdelaziz and an anonymous family in Homewood each donated $25,000. There’s also a $5,000 reward being offered by Gov. Kay Ivey.

Two events will be held for Blanchard Monday night. In Montgomery, the Open Door Christian Faith Worship Center will hold a vigil at 6 p.m. In Auburn, the United Methodist Church at the corner of Gay Street and Magnolia Ave. will host a prayer service at 6:22 p.m.

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