The remains found in a wooded area in Macon County, Ala., on Mon., Nov. 25, 2019, are those of Aniah Blanchard — stepdaughter of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight, Walt Harris — who was reported missing on Oct. 23, 2019.
“It is with heavy hearts that we so confirm today that the remains are in fact of Aniah Blanchard,” Auburn (Ala.) Police Chief Paul Register said in a news conference streamed by WBRC, courtesy of MMA Junkie. “This case will move forward as a homicide investigation.”
Harris, understandably, is absolutely devastated:
View this post on Instagram
My sweet baby girl... I just wanna thank you for helping me change my life for the better... For teaching me how to be a man and a better father! For being my biggest fan win, lose , or draw! For always knowing what to say to put a smile on my face and lift me up when I was down and wanted to give up. You light up my world I’m so many ways. This pain is unbearable... I know you want me to be strong but it so hard baby it so hard. I’m gonna find away I promise you I will. Right now nothing makes sense and I’m so lost. I just want you back. I hope I made you proud... I’m gonna keep going daddy just needs time. I love you so much. Look after us like you always did. We need you now more than ever. My lil mighty mighty tiger is a angel now. I love you baby girl forever and ever!
UFC president, Dana White, shared his response on social media:
Law Enforcement has confirmed to us that it is Aniah that they found.— Dana White (@danawhite) November 27, 2019
I’m devastated to hear this news. I’m heartbroken for Walt and his family. Thank you everyone for the support including the local and state Alabama law enforcement, media, athletes, managers and fans. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/MlWcn3iG2F
“Law Enforcement has confirmed to us that it is Aniah that they found. I’m devastated to hear this news. I’m heartbroken for Walt and his family,” White wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you everyone for the support including the local and state Alabama law enforcement, media, athletes, managers and fans. My condolences go out to everyone that was touched by Aniah’s story and tried to help bring her home.”
Three men, Antwon Fisher (35), Ibraheem Yazeed (30) and David Johnson Jr, have all been arrested in connection with the case.
After her disappearance on Oct. 23, 2019, Blanchard’s damaged car was found in an apartment complex in Montgomery, Alabama. Upon inspection, blood was found in the driver’s side of the vehicle, indicating foul play.
A report later revealed that two eye-witnesses saw a man force Aniah into a vehicle, but for some unknown reason, failed to alert anyone of what they saw. One of the men arrested, Ibraheem Yazeed, was currently out on bail on charges of kidnapping and attempted murder from a separate incident earlier this year.
The mixed martial arts (MMA) community came out and added to an existing financial reward for any tips leading to her whereabouts. Aniah — who was attending Lee County Community College — was just 19 years old.
We here at MMAmania would like to offer our most heartfelt condolences to Aniah’s entire family during this difficult time.