The family of a 19-year-old college student who vanished last week is pleading for the safe return of the girl.
Aniah Haley Blanchard, who attends community college in Auburn, was last seen on Oct. 23 at a store in the city.
“We know our daughter is scared. We know she wants to come home. As a family we are trying to just stay together. Stay prayed up. Making sure we have hope. We are real hopeful,” Elijah Blanchard, the teen’s father, told WBRC.
In a message to his daughter and her potential kidnapper, Blanchard added: “We all are trying our best to do what we can to find you. And if you have my daughter, know she is loved. I just ask you to let her go.”
“Just keep your eyes out, wherever you are,” Aniah’s mother Angela Harris told CBS 42. “Everywhere you are, just look for Aniah.”
“We just want our daughter home,” she said. “We want her found as soon as possible.”
The pleas for help came as the Auburn Police Department released a short video clip from a surveillance camera at an Auburn store showing Aniah on Oct. 23.
She was wearing a long-sleeve black-and-white dress and leggings. The store, a Chevron gas station, is located at the intersection of South College Street and East University Drive.
Shortly after the footage was recorded, Aniah’s vehicle, a 2017 Honda CR-V, was seen going southbound on South College Street, police said.
Officers found the vehicle late Friday at an apartment complex in Montgomery, on Atlanta Highway. The vehicle was damaged on the front passenger side sometime between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25.
Auburn Police Chief Paul Register told CBS 42 that it was concerning such a long time had passed without word from the missing teen.
“Obviously we’re concerned for her safety at this point,” Register said. “We’re very concerned that it’s been this long without anyone hearing from her.”
Aniah was described as a black female with brown hair and brown eyes, standing 5 feet 6 inches and weighing 125 pounds.
Along with Auburn Police, the investigation into Aniah’s disappearance is being conducted by the Montgomery Police Department, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Lee County District Attorney’s Office, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, Alabama Fusion Center, and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences.
Anyone with information 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.