Witness Says Man Who Allegedly Murdered UFC Fighter's Stepdaughter Dragged Body in Comforter: Police
A witness was allegedly with Ibraheem Yazeed when he dragged Aniah Blanchard's body into the Alabama woods, police testified this week
Police testimony this week is revealing a new detail in the murder case of Aniah Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris, who was found dead last year after missing for more than a month.
A witness reportedly told Auburn Police Detective Josh Mixon that he was with Ibraheem Yazeed — the man accused of Blanchard's murder — when he "appeared to drag a body, wrapped in a comforter, into the woods near Shorter, Alabama," the Associated Press reported.
Mixon testified that the witness said to Yazeed, "Tell me that’s not a body."
"Yazeed replies, ‘It won’t come back on you or your family,’" Mixon recounted.
Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes argued that Blanchard "was lured under false pretenses," by Yazeed, the AP reported.
The night she went missing, Blanchard told a friend that she was with a man named "Eric" who she had just met. Yazeed had reportedly been seen getting into a car with Blanchard at a gas station the night she went missing, police previously said, according to the AP's report.
Yazeed's lawyer could not immediately be reached by PEOPLE, but reportedly said the young woman willingly let his client into her car, according to the AP, and said that because her car and body were found in other counties, there was not proof she was kidnapped in Lee County.
Judge Russell Bush found probable cause that the 19-year-old was indeed kidnapped, and sent the case to a grand jury, WRBL reported.
When reached for comment on the case, Hughes told PEOPLE, "I will let the testimony that came out in the preliminary hearing stand on its own."
Hughes told WRBL that the testimony on Wednesday was not a surprise to Blanchard's family.
"I’ve advised the family along the way, every step of the way about what’s going on," he told the outlet. "Nothing that they’ve heard today was a surprise, because I’ve kept them informed because they have a right to know."
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"This is a tough case, I can’t imagine what her family is going through," he said to WRBL. "Murder cases are ugly. You have to talk about these things. You have to talk about these things in somewhat of a dispassionate way."
In December, PEOPLE reported that prosecutors were seeking the death penalty for Yazeed.
Hughes said at a press conference at the time that Yazeed was "the lone person responsible in this case for abducting Aniah Blanchard.”
"He is the only person responsible for Aniah’s murder," he said.
Yazeed was arrested in November 2019, after he had been identified as a person of interest after he was seen on video surveillance inside the same convenience store in Auburn, Alabama, where Blanchard had last been seen.
Blanchard's remains were found in Macon County on County Road 2 about a month after she went missing, PEOPLE previously reported.