UFC fighter Walt Harris has written a heartbreaking tribute to his late stepdaughter Aniah Blanchard, following shocking confirmation of the 19-year-old's murder.
Authorities in Alabama confirmed that human remains found this week belonged to Harris’ 19-year-old stepdaughter.
Blanchard was last seen on October 23 at a convenience store. Police found her car some 80km away from her home.
There was blood in the car that suggested a life-threatening injury. Tests later revealed that blood belonged to Blanchard.
Harris described his pain as "unbearable" and thanked his stepdaughter for making him a better person, in a touching tribute on Instagram.
Three men have been arrested in connection to Blanchard’s disappearance. Ibraheem Yazeed, 29, was spotted on surveillance video looking over at Blancard in the convenience store.
A witness saw Yazeed force Blanchard into a car moments later. Police also arrested 35-year-old Antwain Shamar Fisher, who allegedly drove Yazeed and helped dispose of evidence.
A third man, David Johnson Jr., was arrested for trying to hinder the investigation.
UFC boss Dana White leads tributes, condolences
Dana White was among many high profile UFC figures to show public support for Harris in the wake of the tragedy.
“I’m devastated to hear this news. I’m heartbroken for Walt and his family,” White said.
“Thank you everyone for the support including the local and state Alabama law enforcement, media, athletes, managers and fans.
“My condolences go out to everyone that was touched by Aniah’s story and tried to help bring her home.”
Many other fighters and UFC personalities also took to social media to express their condolences.
Law Enforcement has confirmed to us that it is Aniah that they found.— Dana White (@danawhite) November 27, 2019
I’m devastated to hear this news. I’m heartbroken for Walt and his family. Thank you everyone for the support including the local and state Alabama law enforcement, media, athletes, managers and fans. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/MlWcn3iG2F
I wish to convey my deepest condolences to @thebigticket205 and his family and let them know they are all in our thoughts and prayers. I am so sorry for your tragic loss. I can only hope that your love for each other will see you through— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) November 26, 2019
Condolences and prayers for Walt Harris and his family. 😢😞#ripaniah— Dominick Reyes (@DomReyes) November 25, 2019
With Yahoo Sports US