Safety concerns rise as search for college student continues

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Almost two weeks after Aniah Blanchard’s disappearance, worry continues to escalate throughout much of the community.

Blanchard was last seen Oct. 23 at a convenience store on South College St. in Auburn. Her car was found two days later, 50 miles away, in Montgomery, damaged and containing evidence that led investigators to believe she was a victim of foul play.

“I mean, it’s absolutely heartbreaking,” Reagan Lowden, an Auburn freshman, said.

Many throughout the tree-lined streets of Auburn said Blanchard’s disappearance has shaken the community. It’s a wake-up call amplified by another college student’s disappearance just a week later in Atlanta, 21-year-old Alexis Crawford, who police said was last seen Oct. 30.

“It most definitely makes you change the way you do things,” said Iyana Tate, who attends Auburn.

Many young women around Blanchard’s age throughout east Alabama are taking special precautions to stay safe, like allowing friends and family to track the location of their phone’s GPS.

Despite the fact their own safety is on their minds, all were also thinking of Aniah.

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