Homewood artist paints portrait of Aniah Blanchard to raise awareness of missing teen

Finding Aniah

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — Liz Landgren has always loved to draw and paint, but she never realized she had a gift until adulthood.

“[I realized] it can be something that I can use for all kinds of things,” Landgren said.

Throughout her career, she’s painted all sorts of figures and creatures. But to her, no painting has ever been as important as her most recent piece: a portrait of Aniah Blanchard, the 19-year-old Southern Union student who has been missing for over a week.

As she describes it, this painting had a mission.

“I thought ‘what can I do to make people look twice and look and see Aniah?'” she said.

And people have.

The painting of Blanchard, a Homewood native, was the final product of a time-lapse video she made showing the process start to finish with fastidious attention paid to every detail.

MISSING – Aniah Blanchard, from Homewood Alabama, went missing from AUBURN on Wednesday night. I’m hoping that this time…

Posted by Liz DeFuniak Landgren on Monday, October 28, 2019

“I’ve memorized the shape of her face, the shape of her eyes,” she said. “It’s just a way to take that second glance.”

The video has been viewed over 30,000 times and the original painting has been gifted to Blanchard’s family. Before the investigation began, Landgren says she didn’t know them personally, but that didn’t stop her from wanting to help.

“I don’t know, it’s just hit me so hard,” Landgren said with tears in her eyes. “She is one of our children. If this were my child, what would I want people to be doing? Everything. We’ve gotta find her. We’ve gotta find her. “

Langren said the community is welcome to download and share the Blanchard portrait across social media.


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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