The remains of Aniah Blanchard, a 19-year-old student who vanished a month ago, are believed to have been in the woods of rural Alabama, officials said Monday.
"I can confirm that human remains have been found and we have good reason to suspect they are that of Aniah Blanchard," Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes told local reporters.
Blanchard is the stepdaughter of UFC fighter Walt Harris, who has been begging for the young woman's return since she disappeared on Oct. 23. She was last seen at a gas station in Auburn, where surveillance cameras captured her walking the aisles of a convenience store, police said.
Her damaged car was found the next night in Montgomery, about 50 miles from the station. A week later, police said blood evidence collected from inside her Honda showed Blanchard had been the "victim of foul play," authorities said.
Meanwhile, a reward was offered in connection with information leading to Blanchard's location.
On Nov. 8, a 29-year-old suspect was arrested in Florida and charged with first-degree kidnapping. Ibraheem Yazeed, who is being held without bail, was seen on videotape in the convenience store the same time as Blanchard. He has not yet entered a plea.
Monday's announcement about finding human remains was preceded earlier in the day with a statement from Auburn Police that Antwain "Squirmy" Fisher had been arrested and charged with hindering prosecutors in connection with the alleged kidnapping.
Because of a gag order issued in the case, no further details were available, the county prosecutor's office said.