Michael McLellan indicted in murder of 13-year-old Hania Aguilar

ROBESON CO., N.C. (WTVD) -- The man accused of strangling 13-year-old Hania Aguilar has been indicted in the case.

Michael Ray McLellan, 34, faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping (among others). He has been in custody since Nov. 13, but court officials confirm his case was recently seen by a grand jury.

That grand jury indicted McLellan in the case. That is a procedural step in moving the case forward in the court system.

Aguilar was abducted from outside her home as she waited to go to school in November 2018. Her body was discovered weeks later about 10 miles from where she was abducted.

Ten days later, investigators announced that McLellan was responsible for Aguilar's death.

See also: Family, friends remember Hania Aguilar on 14th birthday

After he was connected to the Aguilar case, Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt learned McLellan's DNA matched a 2016 rape case that had been improperly handled by the sheriff's office.

Following an internal investigation, a Robeson County Sheriff's Office investigator was fired and a second employee resigned. Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins Jr. did not say the Aguilar case was the reason for their firing, but he did say prior to the end of the investigation that they were being investigated in connection to Aguilar's case.

Note: Video attached to this story is from a previous court date for McLellan.
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