It was a somber Thanksgiving for UFC heavyweight Walt Harris — who posted an emotional “thank you” message to his stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard, a day after authorities confirmed her remains were found in Alabama.
“My sweet baby girl…I just wanna thank you for helping me change my life for the better,” Harris shared on Instagram Thursday. “For teaching me how to be a man and a better father!”
Blanchard, 19, was last seen Oct. 23 outside a gas station in Auburn. Her remains were found Monday in a rural area of Shorter, Alabama, as investigators searched for the teenager, authorities confirmed Wednesday.
The case is proceeding as a homicide investigation, according to the Auburn Police Department.
“This pain is unbearable,” Harris wrote. “I know you want me to be strong, but it’s so hard baby, it’s so hard.”
“Right now nothing makes sense and I’m so lost. I just want you back. I hope I made you proud,” he continued. “My lil mighty mighty tiger is an angel now. I love you baby girl forever and ever!”
Two men, Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, and Antwain Shamar Fisher, 35, were arrested in Blanchard’s disappearance after her abandoned black Honda CRV was found in Montgomery with her own blood inside.
Police received a tip that Yazeed was allegedly seen Oct. 23 at the Auburn convenience store, forcing Blanchard into her car and driving away.
Both men were charged with first-degree kidnapping. Yazeed is being held in Lee County Jail without bond, and Fisher is being held on $50,000 bond.
Additional charges may be forthcoming once a cause of death has been confirmed, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes said Wednesday.
A third man, David Lee Johnson Sr., 63, is charged with hindering prosecution.
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