Father of Aniah Blanchard holds on to hope for his daughter’s return

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Elijah Blanchard, the father of missing woman Aniah Blanchard, joined Alissa Rothermich Friday morning to discuss the latest on the search.

“[The Auburn police] are considering foul play, they really have not given us much. They tell us they have a lot of investigators [working the case],” said Blanchard.

When hearing the news that evidence suggests foul play suspected in the abduction of Aniah, Blanchard states the discovery was hard for the family.

Elijah Blanchard

“That was hard for us. I’m a man of faith and regardless of what the police say, I still have hope that my Aniah is out there waiting on her father to get her,” Blanchard said.

Auburn police recovered Aniah’s damaged car last Friday. Blanchard shared his thoughts on how the discovery and later evidence possibly changed his view of the search.

“It was something hard,” he said. “Regardless of what people are saying, once a piece of you, your daughter, is missing, it’s so hard for you to grasp that concept,” he explained. “It’s really hard to think when they said they discovered their car [and she was still missing] … that did something to me.”

As the search continues, Auburn police shared surveillance video of Aniah’s last sighting. Blanchard provided insight into his daughter’s behavior displayed in the video.

“My daughter looked like she was troubled,” he said. “Either she was troubled or extremely tired. To see her going into the store like that… she looked like she was trying to send a signal to someone that she was bothered.”

Blanchard wanted the public to know about who Aniah is as a person.

“Aniah is the type of person who brings light to a dark room,” he said. “She never met a stranger. We’re just so happy how everyone is trying to team together and trying to find her.”

As for holding up, Blanchard stated he is trying to stay strong for his son.

“I still remain hopeful,” he said. “I miss her. I love her. As a father, I’m just not going to let her go.

The reward money for Aniah has reached over $80,000. There are also blue ribbons displayed throughout the Birmingham area in honor of Aniah. Blanchard shared his thanks to the community for their support.

“I just want to thank everybody, the support we’re getting,” Blanchard said. “Through all of it, we still remain humble. People are just coming from all walks of life. Most parents understand that when your daughter or son … something is just not right, you can never be complete. The community has stepped in, we get facebook posts, I’ve received many text messages, prayers from people…it’s really flattering to know that people are really aware of what’s going on today. We appreciate it. Everything is going into our efforts of finding my daughter and I’m so, so happy that people are involved in this case.”

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information regarding Aniah’s whereabouts, or other knowledge about the case is asked to call the Auburn Police Division Detective Section at 334-501-3140, the anonymous tip line at 334-246-1391 or the 24-hour non-emergency number at 334-501-3100.

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