UFC offers $25,000 to help find missing stepdaughter of star fighter
The state of Alabama offered a $5,000 reward and the president of Ultimate Fighting Championship offered $25,000 more for information about the missing stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight star Walt Harris. Authorities said Wednesday she likely didn’t go missing on her own.
The governor’s office announced the reward for information about Aniah Haley Blanchard, 19, of suburban Birmingham. A statement said the money was being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the teen’s disappearance.
Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White also took to social media to offer a $25,000 reward. “Please share this message and keep Aniah, Walt and their family in your thoughts,” White said.
Police initially said there wasn’t any indication of foul play but they now say it’s possible.
“This is a criminal investigation, obviously we’re approaching it as such,” Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said at a news conference. “We do not believe that Aniah would or did go missing on her own volition.”
The Southern Union State Community College student was last seen a week ago in Auburn, and police later found her damaged car at an apartment complex in Montgomery about 55 miles (90 kilometers) away. The vehicle wasn’t damaged before she went missing.
Auburn police on Monday released video showing Blanchard in a store in Auburn the day she was last seen.
Harris and other relatives have issued pleas for information about her whereabouts. “We just want our daughter home,” said Angela Harris, Blanchard’s mother, CBS affiliate WIAT-TV reported.
Capt. Lorenza Dorsey, an Auburn police spokesman, said investigators weren’t eliminating any possibilities in the search for Blanchard.
“We’re hopeful, but we’re extremely concerned because of the amount of time that’s now passed,” Dorsey said.