Officials Say Body Found in North Carolina Is of Missing Girl Hania Aguilar

November 28, 2018 Updated: November 28, 2018

Police in North Carolina said the body that was found in Robeson County on Nov. 27, was positively identified as missing girl Hania Aguilar, the News-Observer reported.

“This is heart-wrenching; we are absolutely devastated,” Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill told WMBF News.

He added: “I wish we had a different outcome for Hania’s family, for the community that she lived in, and for the hundreds of law enforcement officers and searchers who put everything, everything they had in to finding her and bringing her back alive. We believe we have found the body of 13-year-old Hania Aguilar. The body was found in a body of water off Wire Grass Road in Robeson County about 4:45 p.m. yesterday afternoon.”

The FBI said the body was found during a search for the girl, saying her family was notified of the discovery.

McNeil said preliminary tests came back, indicating the body found is Hania’s. Dental records will now be needed to make a final determination.

“Please continue to pray for Hania’s family and each other as the investigation continues,” McNeil told the outlet. “I want to ask the community and those on social media to please quit spreading the rumors that are being spread. This is the outcome that we all feared was going to happen; we did not want to hear this. This is not what we wanted to happen. We wanted to bring her back home alive to her family and our community.”

No suspect has been named in the case.

Hania, 13, was kidnapped outside of her family home in Lumberton on Nov. 5. A man dressed in black pulled up in a stolen SUV and forced her into the vehicle, officials said.

“We are all heartbroken,” FBI supervisor Andy Delarocha said. “We believe we found Hania, but our work is far from over. We have to find out how she died, who did this to her and we have to bring the person or persons to justice.”

wire grass road
The remains were found near Wire Grass Road in Robeson County on Nov. 27, the FBI said (Google Street View)

Delarocha urged the public to come forward with any information.

“Please call us if you have information to help. Don’t post rumors to social media. Don’t share speculations about this case. On Nov. 5, I stood right here before you and stated I could not imagine how I would feel if this was one of my daughters,” he said. “Last night I had to stand in front of Hania’s mother and explain to her what we had found and you can all imagine what that has done to her. You can further imagine what is happening to her today as she hears things that are not based in fact and are rumors and falsehoods.”

McNeil, meanwhile, said their work “is not over.”

“We will not stop, not stop until we find the person or persons responsible and we bring them to justice. We will not stop until we do that,” he added.

The FBI, in a statement earlier this week, said that it and the local Lumberton Police Department have investigated 800 leads, reviewed surveillance footage, and interviewed about 400 people, said the FBI.

The FBI also elaborated on the abduction and 911 call about the missing girl.

“A female caller speaking Spanish was on the line, and the Robeson County dispatcher quickly requested a Spanish translator to join the call. Initial reports during the 911 described the abductor as a black male,” the agency said in a statement.

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