AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - The Auburn Police Department has released two photos that show a man they’re calling a “person of interest” in the case of missing student Aniah Blanchard.
Police are asking the public for help identifying the man, who was seen on video surveillance inside the convenience store at the time Blanchard was last seen and disappeared on Oct. 23.
The man is in his early to mid-20s, weighs approximately 200 lbs., and is between 5’8” and 5’10”. He was wearing dark-colored pants, dark-colored shoes, and a camouflage colored hooded jacket with “Vans” in white writing across the back.
Additionally, the man in the photos was observed leaving the area in what is described as a late 2000s model Lincoln Town Car, which investigators believe is silver or grey.
It’s unclear why investigators believe the man may be involved in Blanchard’s case, but as part of the ongoing joint investigation with the Auburn Police Division and the Montgomery Police Department into Aniah’s disappearance, investigators want to speak him.
Anyone with information on his identity is asked to call the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140, the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391, or the 24-hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.
Blanchard was reported missing on Oct. 24. She last talked to a friend just before midnight on the 23rd.
On Oct. 28, police released a short surveillance video that showed Blanchard at a convenience store on South College Street in Auburn late on the night of Oct. 23. It was recorded just before her SUV was seen traveling southbound on South College Street.
Her Honda CR-V was found Friday, Oct. 25 at a Montgomery apartment complex with damage to the passenger side. The apartment complex is on Boardwalk Boulevard, which is not far off Atlanta Highway.
Thursday, police said evidence found inside the vehicle indicated she had been harmed.
Auburn Police Chief Paul Register said investigators were keying in on the area between Auburn and Montgomery. The cities are about 50 miles apart.
Blanchard is a native of Homewood and a student at Southern Union State Community College in Lee County.
A reward of $105,000 from multiple sources had been pledged toward the effort to find her.
Her stepfather is UFC fighter Walt Harris. Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White, UFC fighter Jon Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Dominance MMA Ali Abdelaziz and an anonymous family in Homewood each donated $25,000. There’s also a $5,000 reward being offered by Gov. Kay Ivey.