An Alabama judge on Wednesday ordered a suspect in the disappearance of 19-year-old college student Aniah Blanchard to submit a DNA sample to prosecutors.
Lee County District Judge Russell Bush also denied a motion to reconsider and set bond for the suspect, Ibraheem Yazeed. As the case goes over to the grand jury, Bush says Yazeed faces kidnapping charges in Blanchard’s disappearance.
During the preliminary hearing, Yazeed’s attorney, Elijah Beaver, pushed for bond, arguing that Yazeed had spent three years in jail for prior offenses that he was never convicted of.
“We’re seriously concerned that the same thing is happening again in this case,” Beaver said, adding that he was worried that Yazeed will spend another year in jail waiting for the grand jury.
That motion was denied. Yazeed had violated bond in a previous case by crossing state lines into Florida, the judge said. The grand jury date hasn’t been announced yet.
Blanchard disappeared last month
Blanchard, who attends Southern Union State Community College, was last heard from just before midnight on October 23, in Auburn, Alabama. Two days later, her SUV was found damaged in an apartment complex an hour away in Montgomery, Alabama.
She was gone.
During the hearing Wednesday, a witness, whose name wasn’t revealed, testified that he was present at an Auburn convenience store and believes he saw Blanchard being taken against her will, according to WTVM.
He said he had not come forward sooner, because his wife told him to “stay out of it.”
A week after Blanchard’s disappearance, police announced they believed she had been harmed.
DNA evidence, in the form of blood “indicative of someone suffering a life threatening injury,” was found on the passenger side of Blanchard’s vehicle, according to the Alabama department of forensic science. The department concluded it was Blanchard’s blood.
Then, on November 7, members of the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force and Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Yazeed, 30, on kidnapping charges as he was coming into Florida.
He agreed to be extradited back to Alabama, authorities say. Yazeed was accused of attempted murder in another case earlier this year in Montgomery, Alabama.
The reward for helping to find Blanchard and any perpetrators involved in the case stands at more than $100,000.
Blanchard is the step-daughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris.
UFC President Dana White pledged to contribute additional money to the rewards being offered.
CNN’s Pierre Meilhan contributed to this story.