Testimony reveals why witness says he didn’t come forward after watching Aniah Blanchard’s abduction

Updated: Nov. 20, 2019 at 6:34 PM EST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - New details emerged after a preliminary hearing Wednesday in the case against Ibraheem Yazeed, the man police say kidnapped 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard from Auburn.

Blanchard’s family sat silently in the courtroom as a Lee County judge laid down rulings on several motions in the case against Yazeed.

All eyes were on the 29-year-old suspect as he entered a Lee County courtroom Wednesday morning.

Yazeed looked back at Blanchard’s family and shook his head before the preliminary hearing began.

Lee County Judge Russell Bush made several major rulings during the hearing.

He ordered Yazeed to submit a DNA sample to the state for testing.

“There was DNA of a male profile found in the car, so we argue the defendant’s DNA is needed,” said Assistant District Attorney Garrett Saucer.

Bush denied a motion to reconsider Yazeed’s bond, meaning Yazeed will stay in the Lee County Jail.

“The court finds probable cause to charge the defendant with kidnapping in the first degree,” Bush said.

He also found there is enough evidence to send the case to a grand jury.

The detective’s testimony revealed new details, like the first time Yazeed saw Blanchard.

“While he was getting change, he has his hand out for the change, he looks over his shoulder, watches her walk past, and then walks out,” said Detective Josh Mixon.

He explained why the man who said he witnessed Yazeed forcing Blanchard into her car and driving off took so long to come forward.

“He went back to the room and told his girlfriend, possibly wife, what he saw and she told him it was none of his business and should stay out of it," Mixon said.

There’s still a gag order on the case, so attorneys and potential witnesses aren’t allowed to talk to the media.

Yazeed’s attorney argued Blanchard’s parents should be included in the gag order too. The state countered that the family should be allowed to speak with the media as they continue to search for their daughter.

Multiple media outlets, including WTVM, have filed a motion to lift that gag order.

The hearing to discuss that motion is scheduled for December 4.

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