AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - More than one hundred people in the Auburn community came together to pray for the safe return of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard at the Auburn United Methodist Church Monday night.
“Right now, we are looking for answers,” says family friend Haley Tenbarge.
With heavy hearts, the Auburn community is continuing in the efforts to raise awareness to find Blanchard after she was last seen on October 23.
Monday night, her family was front and center at Auburn UMC receiving prayer from friends, family and strangers in the community hoping for the best.
“The main focus right now is to keep everyone hopeful that we’re going to find her alive and bring her home. That’s what the family is holding to,” says Tenbarge.
Law enforcement and search and rescue crews were in attendance, including representatives with Texas Equusearch, a search and rescue team joining the investigation.
“Today, we just got familiar with the area. Tomorrow, we’re going to cover a lot of ground. We’re going to be doing a lot of mapping and planning to begin,” says Tim Miller with Equusearch.
Miller says EquuSearch could possibly seek volunteers in the search as they move forward. He says there is a lot of land to cover, but he is glad that his first stop was at the church to speak with Blanchard’s family.
“We shared some tears and we prayed. We’re still human. I’m glad I came here to this. It’s needed,” says Miller.
Aniah’s family released the following statement through a family friend:
“Any information that the public, police or anyone has that may be involved, please come forward. In the meantime, you can help us by sharing her picture on all platforms. We are thankful for your continued prayers and are hopefully expecting Aniah’s safe return.”
Monday night’s vigil began at 6:22 p.m. in honor of Blanchard’s birthday, June 22.