Ad­di­tional re­ward is of­fered as of­fi­cials press for more info about kid­napped teenager

The Charlotte Observer - - Front Page - BY CAMILA MOLINA


In­ves­ti­ga­tors on Fri­day con­tin­ued to ask for the pub­lic’s help to iden­tify a man seen walk­ing to­ward the scene of a teenager’s kid­nap­ping on Mon­day morn­ing. They also want peo­ple to check prop­er­ties near the site where the stolen SUV that the teen was ab­ducted in was found.

The search for 13-yearold Ha­nia Aguilar con­tin­ues.

Tips from the pub­lic led in­ves­ti­ga­tors Thurs­day to the stolen Ford Ex­pe­di­tion, which was found in the brush on Quincey Drive in Lumberton, about 8.5 miles south of the fam­ily’s home in the Rose­wood Mo­bile Home Park.

Ha­nia was ab­ducted from the mo­bile home park while wait­ing to go to school Mon­day morn­ing.

Dur­ing a news con­fer­ence Fri­day, of­fi­cials asked peo­ple within a mile of Quincey Drive to look for any po­ten­tial clues on their land.

Lumberton Po­lice Chief Michael McNeill said prop­erty own­ers should check sheds or out­door build­ings within the ra­dius and should re­port any­thing un­usual to the tip line: 910-2725871.

In ad­di­tion to the FBI’s $ 15,000 re­ward, McNeill said that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s of­fice is of­fer­ing an ad­di­tional $5,000 for in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to Ha­nia’s lo­ca­tion.

At the news con­fer­ence, FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tor Andy de la Rocha spoke di­rectly to any­one who may be in­volved in the kid­nap­ping.

“This pur­suit will be re­lent­less. And you who are out there who has in­for­ma­tion, you who were di­rectly in­volved in this, you who may have in­for­ma­tion about what­ever hap­pened af­ter­ward, we’re gonna come af­ter this, we’re gonna pur­sue the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble, and we will not stop un­til jus­tice pre­vails.”

The FBI also is ask­ing so­cial me­dia users not to spread ru­mors about Ha­nia’s ab­duc­tion.

“No one wants to pull our re­sources away from find­ing Ha­nia to go check out some­thing that some­body made up, or some­body heard, or some­one thought, or some­one’s hunch or some­one’s gut,” said FBI spokes­woman Shel­ley Lynch.

“Let us fol­low the leads and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. And the way that you can help us is to tell who the man is in that video be­cause he might be able to give us in­for­ma­tion to find out what hap­pened to her.”

The video Lynch men­tioned was sur­veil­lance footage re­leased Thurs­day that shows a man walk­ing on Lam­beth Street, then turn­ing left onto El­iz­a­beth­town Road to­ward the mo­bile home park. In the video, the man ap­pears to be wear­ing light-col­ored shoes, a light-col­ored shirt and a dark hoodie.

“Some­one knows this in­di­vid­ual and we need you to call us with in­for­ma­tion,” the FBI said in a state­ment Thurs­day. “Maybe there is some­one who rec­og­nizes the way the man walks or his man­ner­isms or maybe he will rec­og­nize him­self on TV.”

Rose­wood res­i­dents are used to see­ing non­res­i­dents walk around the mo­bile home park and said aban­doned trail­ers there are fre­quently bro­ken into.

Ha­nia was out­side her home be­fore 7 a.m. Mon­day wait­ing for the rest of the fam­ily to get a ride to school. A wit­ness heard Ha­nia scream, then looked out­side and saw a male dressed in black and wear­ing a yel­low ban­dana force Ha­nia into the green 20022003 Ford Ex­pe­di­tion that was run­ning in the fam­ily’s drive­way, ac­cord­ing to the FBI.

Ha­nia is a His­panic fe­male, 5 feet tall, weigh­ing about 126 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wear­ing a blue shirt with flow­ers and blue jeans.


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