UPDATE (12:11 p.m.) — Prosecutors are asking the court to allow them to collect DNA evidence from the man accused of kidnapping Aniah Blanchard.
In a motion filed Tuesday, Lee County Assistant District Attorney Garrett Saucer requested that the state collect buccal swabs from Ibraheem Yazeed, who is charged with first-degree kidnapping in allegedly taking Blanchard, a 19-year-old student at Southern Union State Community College. Blanchard has been missing since Oct. 24.
Buccal swabs are done by collecting cells from the inside of a person’s cheek.
“Collection of a known standard of the Defendant’s DNA profile is necessary for a full and complete investigation of this matter,” Saucer wrote in his motion.
In response, District Judge Russell Bush said the matter would be discussed during a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
In an affidavit filed shortly after Yazeed was arrested in Florida, investigators said blood was found in Blanchard’s Honda CR-V that was found damaged in Montgomery a couple of days after her disappearance. The blood was later determined to be Blanchard’s.
OPELIKA, Ala. (WIAT) — News organizations from across Alabama are asking a Lee County district judge to lift a gag order in the case involving a suspect in the disappearance of Aniah Blanchard.
On Monday, 10 companies representing different Alabama news outlets, including CBS 42, filed a motion in court to have District Judge Russell Bush lift a gag order in the case against Ibraheem Yazeed, allowing the media to speak with people involved in the 29-year-old charged with kidnapping Aniah Blanchard.
“The Gag order is impermissably overbroad and specifically bans all communications with Media Movants,” the motion stated.
The gag order was filed on Nov. 8, barring prosecutors, attorneys and any witnesses and family in the case from speaking to the media about the case. News outlets reported that during Yazeed’s first court hearing Nov. 10, reporters were not allowed to attend the hearing, one that is typically open to the public.
Blanchard, 19, went missing Oct. 24 in Auburn and has not been seen since, despite exhaustive searches by the Auburn Police Department and local volunteers.
Yazeed has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Wednesday at 9 a.m.
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