AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – As the search for missing Auburn teenager Aniah Blanchard stretches into day five, Auburn police are releasing a new video of the teen at a local gas station convenience store. Investigators say foul play is now considered a possibility in the Southern Union student’s disappearance.
“The Auburn Police Division, as part of the ongoing joint investigation with the Montgomery Police Department, is releasing a snippet of a video capturing Aniah Haley Blanchard making a purchase at a convenience store located on South College Street, on Wednesday, Oct. 23, just prior to her vehicle being observed traveling southbound on South College Street.”
The video is from the Chevron gas station along South College Street according to law enforcement sources.
Assisting with the investigation are the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Marshal Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Alabama Fusion Center and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
The Southern Union student is still missing after apparently meeting a man on Wednesday night.
Blanchard’s black 2017 Honda CR-V, with Alabama tag #49BS356, was located Friday night at Park Place Apartments in Montgomery. The SUV had been damaged. Police released photos of the damaged vehicle on Saturday afternoon while confirming the investigation now considered foul play to be a possibility in the teen’s disappearance.
“On Friday, Oct. 25, at 6:15 p.m., Aniah Haley Blanchard’s vehicle was located at an apartment complex in the 6100 block of Boardwalk Boulevard in Montgomery, Alabama. Members of the Auburn Police Division, as well as the Montgomery Police Department, responded after receiving notification from a citizen. While the vehicle has been recovered, Blanchard has not been located. The investigation continues regarding her disappearance,” said Captain Lorenza Dorsey.
Investigators say upon the vehicle’s recovery; the damage had occurred from the time it was last seen on Wednesday, Oct. 23, just before midnight in Auburn and its recovery in Montgomery on Friday, Oct. 25.
Blanchard’s damaged SUV was recovered in Montgomery Friday night.
“Anyone having information regarding the whereabouts of the vehicle between the 23rd and the 25th or witnessed an accident or other collision involving this vehicle is urged to contact the Auburn Police Division,” said Dorsey.
Auburn police are working with the FBI on the investigation.
Police continue asking for the public’s assistance in determining Blanchard’s whereabouts as hope remains she will come home safely to her family.
Blanchard was reported missing to Auburn Police on Thursday, Oct. 24. She last communicated with a friend on Wednesday night, Oct. 23, just before midnight. Police said her vehicle was seen in the early morning hours along South College on Thursday, the 24th.
Shortly after Blanchard was reported missing, police said there was no evidence to suspect foul play. However, as the investigation stretches on detectives now tell News 3 foul play is being considered as a possibility.
Investigators are working around the clock trying to determining Blanchard’s whereabouts and will continue their efforts until she is located. It is not known if finding her vehicle changed the tone of the investigation.
Aniah is described as a light-complexioned black female, 5’-6”, 125 lbs., brown eyes, and brown hair and was last seen wearing a black dress, tan duck boots with black stockings.
Anyone with information regarding Aniah is encouraged 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. You can also call 911.