Charges in the death of Aniah Blanchard, the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris, have been upgraded from kidnapping to capital murder, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes announced Monday, per Carol Robinson of AL.com.
Hughes said the death penalty will be sought by Alabama prosecutors against 30-year-old suspect Ibraheem Yazeed.
The remains of Blanchard, 19, were found in a wooded area in Macon County, Ala., last week after she was reported missing Oct. 24.
Hughes also said Blanchard was killed by a gunshot wound.
"In the interests of public safety, I can say that the investigation has determined Ibraheem Yazeed to be the lone person responsible for Aniah's abduction and her murder and he remains in the Lee County jail without bond," Hughes said. "Mr. Yazeed remains innocent of any charges against him until his guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
"From its first moments, law enforcement moved swiftly and methodically to find Aniah's abductor, her murderer, and her. The process of seeing justice done on behalf of Aniah and her family will not be swift, but it will be thorough.
"It is my intention that the response to this horrific crime serve as a warning to anyone who believes they want to come to Lee County and engage in violent criminal behavior. You will be dealt with and the consequences will be severe."
Two other men, Antwain Fisher and David Johnson Jr., have been charged in connection with the case.
Fisher is charged with first-degree kidnapping and remains held on a $50,000 bond for allegedly providing transportation to Yazeed and disposing of evidence. Johnson is charged with hindering prosecution.