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A third suspect has been arrested in connection to the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, the same day her remains were believed to have been discovered in Macon County.
David Lee Johnson Jr., 63, of Montgomery, has been charged with hindering prosecution for his alleged part in the disappearance of Blanchard, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes confirmed. He’s being held on a $7,500 bond.
Hughes declined to say in what way Johnson hindered prosecution. A gag order on the case prevents attorneys, prosecutors and witnesses from speaking to the media about the cases.
The warrant for Johnson’s arrest is through Montgomery County as that’s where the alleged crime took place, Hughes said.
Hughes, hours earlier, confirmed that authorities have “strong reason to believe” those human remains found in Macon County are those of Blanchard.
Blanchard disappeared at some point late on Oct. 23 or early on Oct. 24 from Auburn. She was last seen on video surveillance at a convenience store not far from her home.
Her last known contact was with a roommate on Oct. 23, and loved ones reported her missing the next day.
Days later, her vehicle — scraped and dented — was recovered at a Montgomery apartment complex, some 55 miles west of where the teen was last seen. Police confirmed they suspected foul play based on evidence recovered inside the vehicle.
Macon County, where Blanchard’s body is believed to have been recovered, is between Montgomery County, where her car was discovered, and Lee County, where she was last seen.
The discovery of the human remains came shortly after Antwain “Squirmy” Fisher, 35, appeared in court on a charge of first-degree kidnapping Monday. Fisher, according to court records, gave 29-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed a ride and also disposed of evidence.
Court records did not say what evidence Fisher alleged to have disposed of.
Lee County Judge Steven Speak ruled Monday that Fisher is to be held without bond. About 3:45 p.m. Monday attorney Andrew Stanley, representing Fisher, filed a motion requesting a $50,000 bond be set for his client.
“This motion is without objection by the State,” Stanley wrote.The judge can still deny the request and continue to hold Fisher without bond.
Fisher will appear for a preliminary hearing Dec. 18 at 9 a.m.
Fisher’s arrest came about two weeks after Yazeed was apprehended in a hours-long manhunt by U.S. Marshals. Auburn police issued a warrant against him, and Yazeed was captured in Escambia County, Florida.
Blood “indicative of someone suffering a life-threatening injury” was discovered in the passenger’s side of Blanchard’s vehicle, according to a probable cause affidavit filed for the arrest of Yazeed.
“During the subsequent investigation a witness identified Yazeed as the individual he observed forcing Blanchard into a vehicle against her will and then leaving with her in the vehicle” from an Auburn convenience station, the affidavit states.
The charging affidavit, filed for a first degree kidnapping charge, states the blood evidence was tested by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and confirmed to be Blanchard’s.
Yazeed, at the time of Blanchard’s disappearance, was free on a $295,000 bond on charges of kidnapping, attempted murder, robbery and possession of marijuana in connection to the beating of two men in a Montgomery hotel in January. His criminal record stretched to 2011, when he was charged with robbery and attempted murder the year after. Those charges were ultimately dismissed at separate grand juries, according to court records.
A Lee County judge recently denied Yazeed a bond, despite his attorney claiming he was receiving death threats from other inmates. He also ordered Yazeed to submit to DNA testing, to compare his against a sample found in Blanchard’s car.
Contact Montgomery Advertiser reporter Kirsten Fiscus at 334-318-1798 or KFiscus@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter @KDFiscus