Mother asks public for help in case of missing college student: "We have to have her back"

Auburn, Alabama — Police in Auburn, Alabama, believe evidence found inside a car points to foul play in the case of a 19-year-old missing college student. Aniah Haley Blanchard, who is the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris, disappeared last week.

Blanchard was last seen on surveillance video walking into a store in Auburn. "This is a serious crime that we are investigating. It does involve injuries to someone else," said Police Chief Paul Register.

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  Aniah Haley Blanchard WIAT-TV

Authorities found Blanchard's vehicle at an apartment complex in Montgomery, Alabama, 55 miles from where she was last seen. The front side of the vehicle was damaged. But it's the forensic evidence found inside the car that has investigators worried.

"Evidence from within her vehicle is the reason that we are aware that she was harmed," Register said.

Her mother, Angela Harris, said her daughter's last communication was a message to her college roommate.

"Her roommate was Snapchatting her, 'Where are you? Are you close to home?' And she said 'Yes,' and then she says, 'Who are you with?' Then she says a certain male's name," Harris said.

UFC has donated $25,000 to get information as multiple agencies search for Blanchard. The reward money now totals $80,000. Meanwhile, Harris is begging for the public's help.

"Please, please if you know anything, we have to have her back, we have to have her back," Harris said.

  • Omar Villafranca
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    Omar Villafranca is a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas.