Body found in search believed to be missing North Carolina teen

Posted at 7:44 PM, Nov 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-28 16:20:55-05

ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. – A body found during a water search in North Carolina has been preliminarily identified as 13-year-old Hania Aguilar, Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said.

Click here for our full coverage on the disappearance of Hania Noelia Aguilar

The final confirmation will be made using dental records, McNeill said.

The FBI announced on Tuesday that they had discovered a body following leads in Hania's disappearance.

The body was found off Wire Grass Road in Robeson County, McNeill said

Hania was abducted outside her home in Lumberton on the morning of November 5, 2018, authorities said.

Investigators on Tuesday notified the missing teen's family "out of an abundance of caution" before her identity was confirmed.

Police say someone drove away with Hania in a relative's SUV that was parked in the driveway Monday morning before school, prompting authorities to issue an Amber Alert for her.

A witness saw a man dressed in black and wearing a yellow bandana force Hania into the vehicle. Authorities said they have no reason to think Hania knew her abductor and her family is cooperating with the investigation.

The stolen SUV was found abandoned less than 10 miles from Hania's home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park, authorities said.

Lumberton police and the FBI asked residents with video surveillance systems to save video recordings, even if they don't see the vehicle in the footage, and contact them. Most recently, FBI Charlotte released a photo of sneakers that belonged to Aguilar, hoping to generate more tips about the teenager's disappearance.

The Lumberton Police Department and the FBI have followed more than 800 leads, interviewed more than 400 people and reviewed hours of surveillance footage since the kidnapping, according to officials with the FBI in Charlotte.

A reward for information that leads to her has risen to $20,000, Lumberton police Chief Michael McNeill said Friday.