WATCH CBS 42’S JESSALYN ADAMS’ REPORT ON THE COURT HEARING HERE
OPELIKA, Ala. (WIAT) — The preliminary hearing for the man accused of kidnapping Aniah Blanchard, 19, took place Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, stood before District Judge Russell Bush during the hearing. The judge ruled Yazeed must take a DNA test. He was denied bond.
Now, Yazeed’s case will head to a grand jury, who will decide whether there is enough evidence to indict him. If an indictment is handed down, the case will move to trial.
Yazeed has been in the Lee County Detention Center for nearly two weeks. On Nov. 7, U.S. Marshals located Yazeed in Escambia County, Florida, one day after the Auburn Police Department had released an image of him at the Chevron gas Station on South College Street in Auburn, the same night Blanchard was last seen Oct. 23.
During the court hearing, the judge heard from a Det. Josh Mixon from the Auburn Police Department said that observing video surveillance from the Chevron the night Blanchard disappeared, Yazeed can be seen buying alcohol and that as he’s receiving change, he’s looking over his shoulder and watching Blanchard.
The detective also said that from the video, Yazeed can be seen entering from the left and leaving from the right where it is believed Blanchard’s car, a Honda CR-V, was parked.
In an affidavit filed in court after his arrest, investigators stated that a witness allegedly saw Yazeed forcing Blanchard into her car at the Chevron and leaving the scene with her still inside. In the hearing Wednesday, Mixon added that the witness went to a female companion and told her what he saw, but she told him to keep it to himself and that it wasn’t any of his business.
Blanchard, whom the Auburn Police Department believes was a victim of foul play, has been missing since Oct. 24. The next night, Blanchard’s car was found damaged near an apartment complex near Atlanta Highway in Montgomery. Court reports indicated blood was found in the car that was “indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury.”
“The evidence was submitted to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and confirmed to be that of Aniah Blanchard,” the document stated.
In the hearing, prosecutors said there was also male DNA found in Blanchard’s car.
There is currently a $105,000 reward for information leading to the location of Aniah Blanchard.
Anyone with information about on Aniah Blanchard’s whereabouts should call the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140, the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391, or the 24-hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.
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