WATCH: Celebration of Life for Aniah Blanchard

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Family, friends and community members moved by the tragic kidnapping of Aniah Blanchard are gathering to lay her to rest Saturday.

Services will be held at noon at Faith Chapel on Mike Moore Boulevard.

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Blanchard was kidnapped in Auburn and reported missing Oct. 24. On Nov. 25, she was founded in a wooded area in Shorter.

The service is a celebration of Blanchard’s life to commemorate who she was and the impact her life and light is having on the world, Faith Chapel says.

The service is open to the public. However, the memorial service in its entirety will be streamed live via Faith Chapel’s Facebook page and their website.

Many of Blanchard’s friends, former classmates, her babysitter, her coach and the school superintendent Dr. Bill Cleveland spoke at the funeral memorializing her and the legacy she leaves behind.

During the service, Rep. Merika Coleman (D-Jefferson County) spoke about a proposal she plans to make in legislation during the next session. Aniah fell through the cracks when it comes to a missing alert, she expressed. There is an Amber alert for young people, the silver alert for senior citizens, but none for the 18 to 64-year-old range.

Federal law was signed earlier in 2019 where the federal government helps states set up alerts for people 18 to 64.

“So because of these moms and these two fathers and the beautiful life of Aniah and everybody who has loved her and continues to love her, we’re going to work in the Alabama legislature to get an Aniah Blanchard Alert to fill that gap in the state of Alabama,” Coleman said.

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