UFC heavyweight fighter Walt Harris shared an emotional tribute to his stepdaughter on Instagram a day after human remains found in the Alabama woods were confirmed to be hers, writing that his pain was “unbearable.”
“My sweet baby girl… I just wanna thank you for helping me change my life for the better… For teaching me how to be a man and a better father!” wrote Harris on Thursday to his late 19-year-old stepdaughter, Aniah Haley Blanchard, who went missing on Oct. 24.
“For being my biggest fan win, lose, or draw! For always knowing what to say to put a smile on my face and lift me up when I was down and wanted to give up. You light up my world I’m so many ways. This pain is unbearable.”
On Wednesday, Alabama officials confirmed the remains found two days prior on Macon County on County Road 2 belonged to Blanchard.
No cause or manner of death for Blanchard had been determined yet, but blood evidence recovered in her car two days after she vanished showed she suffered a “life-threatening injury,” a police affidavit says. Police also have said they believe she was harmed and a victim of foul play.
Yazeed was identified as a person of interest after video surveillance showed him inside the Auburn, Alabama, convenience store where Blanchard was last seen alive on Oct. 23. The following day, she was reported missing by her family after she never came home.
Blanchard’s last known whereabouts are difficult to pinpoint, Harris previously told PEOPLE. She last communicated with her roommate through Snapchat on Wednesday night, just before midnight, saying she would be home soon. But then minutes later she sent a message saying she was with someone named “Eric,” Harris said.
When her roommate asked who he was, Blanchard wrote back, “I just met him,” according to Harris.
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Yazeed, who was arrested in Florida, is being held without bond as he awaits a hearing to be extradited back to Alabama. He has not yet entered a plea, and police records do not reflect an attorney authorized to speak on his behalf.
Fisher is from Montgomery, Alabama, according to WRBL. An attorney for Fisher could not immediately be identified.
On Tuesday, Blanchard’s mother Aniah’s mother Angela Harris spoke through tears about her daughter to ABC 33/40.
“She was my heart,” the grieving mom said. “Just her laughter and her smile, that’s what I’m going to miss the most. Just her happiness because she made life better for all of us.”
In his Instagram tribute, Harris wrote, “I know you want me to be strong but it so hard baby it so hard. I’m gonna find away I promise you I will. Right now nothing makes sense and I’m so lost. I just want you back. I hope I made you proud.
“I’m gonna keep going daddy just needs time. I love you so much. Look after us like you always did. We need you now more than ever. My lil mighty mighty tiger is a angel now. I love you baby girl forever and ever!”