Ibraheem Yazeed will be charged with capital murder in the death of Aniah Blanchard, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes announced Monday.
The district attorney's office will also pursue the death penalty for Yazeed, 30, Hughes said.
Blanchard's death has been ruled as a homicide by gunshot wound, according to a report from the medical examiner's office.
Officials said Yazeed kidnapped Blanchard from the Chevron gas station on South College Street in October. Investigators found human remains belonging to those of Blanchard near County Road 2 in Macon County on Nov. 25.
“As a result of the determination by the medical examiner’s office, we are now upgrading the charges from kidnapping first degree to capital murder,” Hughes said. “And in this case, capital murder is the intentional murder during the course of a kidnapping, and we will also be seeking the death penalty against Mr. Yazeed.”
Yazeed was first arrested in Pensacola, Florida, early in the morning on Nov. 8.
“It is my intention that the response to this horrific crime serves as a warning,” Hughes said. “To anyone who believes they want to come to Lee County and engage in violent criminal behavior, you will certainly be dealt with, and the consequences will be severe.”
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Yazeed is being held in the Lee County Jail without bond.
“This case has shaken our community to its core, and I cannot say enough about how the Auburn Police Division—and every other agency involved in this case—responded to the report of Aniah’s disappearance," Hughes said. "From its first moments, law enforcement moved swiftly and methodically to find Aniah’s abductor, her murderer and her. The process of seeing justice done on behalf of Aniah and her family will not be swift, but it will be thorough."
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