Because the seek for 19-year-old Aniah Haley Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris, enters its second week, her household says they’re doing all the pieces they will to deliver her dwelling.
“It’s laborious, attempting to remain robust,” Harris tells PEOPLE Wednesday. “ as the pinnacle of my home I’ve to say robust as a result of I do know she wants me to be robust to search out her.”
Wednesday marks the fourteenth day of Blanchard’s disappearance. On Oct. 24, she was reported lacking by her household after she didn’t come dwelling the night time earlier than. She was final seen on Oct. 23 at a fuel station in Auburn, Alabama, close to her condo, and had instructed her roommate she was on her manner dwelling.
However she didn’t come dwelling — and two days later, police discovered her automotive practically 60 miles away in Montgomery. Proof recovered from the car led Auburn police to consider Blanchard was harmed and a sufferer of foul play.
Blanchard’s final identified whereabouts are tough to pinpoint, Harris says. She final communicated together with her roommate by Snapchat on Wednesday night time, simply earlier than midnight, saying she can be dwelling quickly. However then minutes later she despatched a message saying she was with somebody named “Eric,” Harris says. When her roommate requested who he was, Blanchard wrote again, “I simply met him,” in line with Harris.
She was by no means heard from once more.
Harris says it’s in contrast to his daughter to fail to return dwelling, particularly when she had work the following morning. She is all the time involved together with her household, he says, so when her brother couldn’t attain her the following day, the household known as police.
Wish to sustain with the most recent crime protection? Join PEOPLE’s free True Crime e-newsletter for breaking crime information, ongoing trial protection and particulars of intriguing unsolved circumstances.
Harris met Blanchard when she was three years previous whereas relationship her mom, Angela Harris, in 2003. He says from the start, Blanchard and her older brother, Elijah, felt like his organic youngsters.
“I knew I needed to shield her and care for her,” Harris says.
Blanchard has all the time been accountable, Harris says, which makes her final identified correspondence much more complicated.
Years in the past, when her mom labored night time shifts, Blanchard helped Harris take care of her youthful brother and sister, together with altering diapers.
“She’s a selfless child and he or she all the time put individuals earlier than her,” Harris says. “She has an enormous coronary heart. She’s my all the pieces.”
When she was a senior in highschool, Blanchard was voted captain of her softball workforce.
“I used to be watching some softball movies and you may hear her audible yelling and cheering for her teammates each recreation,” Harris says. “That’s why she was voted captain, as a result of that’s the sort of lady she is; she has an important spirit and he or she desires everybody to succeed.”
Since graduating from highschool in 2018, Blanchard has been finding out at Southern Union State Group Faculty. She had been planning to switch to Auburn College, the place her brother is a junior, subsequent 12 months.
As police proceed to analyze, Harris says he’s engaged on balancing being along with his spouse and two youthful youngsters, ages 6 and 13, in Homewood and serving to with the search. The household has discovered the assist from their group “overwhelming.”
They’ve additionally acquired assist from the UFC group. At present, the reward for locating Blanchard is $80,000, with $25,000 being provided by UFC President Dana White, in addition to $5,000 from Governor Kay Ivey and one other $5,000 (from an nameless supply) for info that results in the arrest and conviction of an offender on this case.
Harris says if anybody wish to donate to the search, they need to ship donations to [email protected] by way of PayPal, not GoFundMe.
Blanchard is described as a light-complexioned black feminine. She is 5 toes, 6 inches tall and weighs about 125 kilos. She has brown eyes and brown hair.
Anybody with info relating to Blanchard’s whereabouts or different data concerning the case is requested to name the Auburn Police Division Detective Part at 334-501-3140, the nameless tip line at 334-246-1391 or the 24-hour non-emergency quantity at 334-501-3100.