“Fighting for Aniah”: 48 Hours Reports on Aniah Blanchard Homicide June 29 2024

Tune in for a poignant and investigative episode of “48 HOURS” titled “Fighting for Aniah,” airing on June 29, 2024, from 9:00 to 10:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network and streaming on Paramount+. This encore presentation delves into the heartbreaking case of Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old college student and stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris, who tragically disappeared and was murdered in Alabama during the fall of 2019.

CBS News special correspondent James Brown leads the investigation, exploring the circumstances surrounding Blanchard’s disappearance and the relentless pursuit of justice by her grieving family. The episode provides a deep dive into the harrowing ordeal faced by the Blanchard family and the community’s efforts to seek accountability for this senseless crime.


Background of Aniah Blanchard

Aniah Haley Blanchard was born on June 22, 2000, in Northport, Alabama. She was the daughter of Elijah Blanchard, a Birmingham businessman, and Angela Haley-Harris, a registered nurse. Angela later married UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris. Aniah grew up in Homewood, Alabama, where she attended Homewood High School and played softball. She was studying early childhood education at Southern Union State Community College and planning to transfer to Auburn University.

Aniah was known for her loving and caring nature. She maintained close relationships with her family, including her mother, father, siblings, and stepfather. Her disappearance and death left a significant impact on her family and the broader community, prompting widespread media coverage and public attention.

Disappearance and Investigation

Aniah Blanchard was reported missing to the Auburn Police Department on October 24, 2019. She had last been seen by a family member on the evening of October 23. Surveillance footage showed Aniah at a Chevron gas station in Auburn late that night. Her phone activity ceased shortly after, raising concerns among her family and friends.

Authorities found Aniah’s vehicle abandoned near an apartment complex in Montgomery, Alabama, on October 25. The car showed signs of foul play, with blood in the front passenger seat indicating a life-threatening injury. A significant search effort was launched involving multiple law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Arrest of Ibraheem Yazeed

On November 7, 2019, Ibraheem Yazeed, a 29-year-old man with a history of violent crime, was identified as a suspect. Surveillance video captured him at the gas station around the same time as Aniah, and a witness reported seeing him force her into her car. Yazeed was arrested in Pensacola, Florida, and extradited to Alabama.

Yazeed was charged with first-degree kidnapping, later upgraded to capital murder following the discovery of Aniah’s remains in Macon County on November 25, 2019. An autopsy confirmed she had died from a gunshot wound. Yazeed faced three counts of capital murder, with prosecutors seeking the death penalty.

Legal Proceedings

Ibraheem Yazeed’s legal proceedings were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His preliminary hearing was initially scheduled for March 2020 but postponed to June 2020. During the hearing, Auburn police detective Josh Mixon provided key testimony about the investigation. The case proceeded to a grand jury, which indicted Yazeed on three counts of capital murder.

In March 2023, Yazeed pleaded not guilty to all charges. He remained in custody without bond, facing additional charges for assaulting corrections officers while in jail. His trial, pending as of early 2024, continued to draw significant public and media interest.

Impact and Legacy

Aniah Blanchard’s tragic death led to the creation of “Aniah’s Law,” a reform of Alabama’s bail system. The law aimed to prevent suspects accused of violent offenses from being released on bail, addressing the loophole that allowed Yazeed to be free at the time of Aniah’s murder. The law received overwhelming support from the Alabama legislature and was signed by Governor Kay Ivey in June 2021.

In addition to legal reforms, Aniah’s memory was honored through various initiatives. A scholarship was established in her name by Homewood Public Schools, and a bench at Patriot Park in Homewood was dedicated to her. Her family and community continued to advocate for justice and safety, ensuring that Aniah’s legacy would contribute to meaningful change.


“48 HOURS: Fighting for Aniah” offers an in-depth look at the heartbreaking case of Aniah Blanchard. It highlights the relentless pursuit of justice by her family and the broader implications of her tragic death. The episode sheds light on the profound personal and legal impacts, reflecting the enduring legacy of Aniah’s life and the ongoing fight for accountability. Tune in on June 29, 2024, to witness this compelling and emotional investigation.

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Ryan Gill

Ryan is a passionate follower of true crime television programs, reporting on and providing in-depth investigations on mysteries in the criminal world.

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