Young women in East Alabama increase safety precautions after Aniah Blanchard’s disappearance

Young women in East Alabama increase safety precautions after Aniah Blanchard’s disappearance

AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - An East Alabama community’s concern increases each day 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard is still missing.

Many young women said they’re now taking special precautions to stay safe after her disappearance and the disappearance of another young female college student in Atlanta.

“It made me feel sick to my stomach,” Auburn student Morgan Arnold, said of the fact Blanchard’s still missing.

Blanchard was last seen October 23 at a convenience store on South College Street in Auburn.

Her car was found two days later, 50 miles away, in Montgomery, damaged and containing evidence that led investigators to believe she was a victim of foul play.

“I mean, it’s absolutely heartbreaking,” Reagan Lowden, an Auburn freshman, said.

Many throughout the tree-lined streets of Auburn said Blanchard’s disappearance has shaken the community.

“This is a wake-up call,” Arnold said.

It’s a wake-up call amplified by another college student’s disappearance just a week later in Atlanta, 21-year-old Alexis Crawford, who police said was last seen October 30.

“It most definitely makes you change the way you do things,” said Iyana Tate, who attends Auburn.

Many young women around Blanchard’s age throughout East Alabama are taking special precautions to stay safe, like allowing friends and family to track the location of their phone’s GPS.

“I started sharing my location with people so they know where I am all the time,” Arnold said.

Lowden said she also shares her location with friends but is particular about how she travels around the area now.

“I’m definitely calling the security shuttle every time I park my car,” she said.

Despite the fact their own safety is on their minds, all were also thinking of Blanchard.

“I really just hope she gets found soon," Lowden said. "We’re all praying she gets back safe.”

Copyright 2019 WTVM. All rights reserved.