Body found in Robeson County believed to be Hania Noelia Aguilar

WTVD logo
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Body found is believed to be that of Hania Aguilar
Body found is believed to be that of Hania Aguilar.

ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Lumberton police and the FBI say they believe the body found in Robeson County on Tuesday afternoon was that of 13-year-old Hania Aguilar.

FBI officials told ABC11 that the case is now being investigated as a homicide.

"We are absolutely devastated. I wish we had a different outcome for Hania's family, for the community, and for the hundreds of law enforcement officers and searchers who put everything they had into finding her alive," Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeil said in a news conference Wednesday.

Watch the full news conference here:

Authorities spent much of the news conference encouraging the public to stop spreading false information on social media.

On Wednesday evening, the FBI stressed that the $25,000 reward from the federal agency and the $5,000 reward from the state of North Carolina remains in effect and can be paid to someone who "provides information that leads to the arrest and the conviction of the person responsible for Hania's kidnapping and sadly, now her death."

Police said there is no person of interest in the case at this time.

Officials also released additional information about how they located the teen's body.

Stay on top of breaking news stories with the ABC11 News App

FBI Supervisory Resident Agent Andy de la Rocha said investigators had been searching the land off Wire Grass Road since the girl went missing on Nov. 5. When they were searching the area Tuesday, they came upon her body about 4:45 p.m.

According to the FBI, the body was not visible from the road.

"We believe we found Hania, but our work is far from over. We have to find out how she died and who did this to her," de la Rocha said. "We have to bring the person responsible to justice.

Authorities are not releasing information regarding the condition in which her body was found at this time. It's unclear how long that body had been there.

The body still has not been officially identified as Hania. Authorities are planning to use dental records to make a positive identification.

The FBI did not release any information about whether she may have been killed where the body was found or somewhere else.

"We need the public's help to determine when and how the body was placed on Wire Grass Road in Robeson County," de la Rocha said. "If you have surveillance cameras near Wire Grass Road, call the tip line at (910) 272-5871.

Viewing this story on a mobile device? Click here for an interactive map of key locations in the investigation.


Residentes en Lumberton están tristes sobre la muerte de Hania Aguilar

FBI hopes shoes will help find Hania Aguilar

Hania Aguilar's family preparing to spend Thanksgiving with the teen missing

Amber Alert: Hania Aguilar has been missing for 2 weeks

Timeline: Lumberton teen Hania Aguilar's disappearance

FBI asks deer hunters to check video devices in search for Hania Aguilar