Suspect arrested in kidnapping of UFC fighter's stepdaughter
A man wanted in the disappearance of UFC fighter Walt Harris’ stepdaughter has been apprehended in Florida, but the whereabouts of the woman he’s accused of abducting remained a mystery early Friday.
Ibraheem Yazeed was arrested in Florida and booked into the Escambia County Jail early Friday, jail records show. He’s charged with first-degree kidnapping in the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, who was last seen at a gas station in Auburn, Alabama, on Oct. 23.
Blanchard, a student at Southern Union State Community College, was reported missing the next day. Her car was later found abandoned in Montgomery, more than 50 miles (90 kilometers) away. Police said the car was damaged and contained evidence that Blanchard had been harmed.
Yazeed was already known to authorities: He was freed from an Alabama jail in February after prosecutors said he beat a man unconscious and “near death” in a vicious robbery, court records show. He faces attempted murder, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery in that earlier case.
Prosecutors say Yazeed was armed with a handgun in January when he pummeled William Joseph Fuller, Alabama court records state. He and two other people also stole Fuller’s Rolex watch, rifle, handgun, wallet, bank card, and cash, authorities said.
Yazeed was out on bond at the time of Blanchard’s disappearance.
In Florida, deputies were called by U.S. marshals to help them with the arrest at about 11 p.m. on Thursday alongside the Pine Forest exit on Interstate 10, Escambia Sheriff’s Maj. Andrew Hobbs said.
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“When we arrived, the suspect fled the area, but he was located by Escambia sheriff’s officers and marshals in a wooded area near the exit,” Hobbs said.
Yazeed left the scene in an ambulance. His jail booking photo shows him with a swollen left eye.
“The marshals were the ones who handcuffed him and took him into custody; you’d have to contact them about any injuries he received,” Hobbs said.
The Associated Press’ request for information left with the Pensacola office of the U.S. Marshals Service wasn’t immediately returned early Friday.