Lumberton Amber Alert: Police ask public to stop spreading rumors; reward increased to $30K

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018
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Police are investigating a claim that a missing 13-year-old girl may have been spotted in Charlotte.

LUMBERTON, N.C. (WTVD) -- Lumberton police officials, in a news conference Tuesday afternoon, encouraged the public to stop sharing "misinformation" about the Amber Alert case that has rocked the community for more than a week, saying that it is hampering their investigation.

On Tuesday, officials received a report that a girl who looked like Hania Aguilar may be in Charlotte.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is looking into the report, but they said there is no reason to believe it is accurate.

TIMELINE: Lumberton teen Hania Aguilar has been missing for more than a week

The FBI, at the news conference, also announced that it increased the reward for information in Hania Aguilar's disappearance from $15,000 to $25,000. With the $5,000 Gov. Roy Cooper promised from the state, that brings the total to $30,000.

Hania Aguilar, 13, has been missing since around 7 a.m. on Nov. 5. It was around that time that police said she was abducted at Rosewood Mobile Home Park off East Elizabethtown Road while she was waiting to go to school.

Authorities said she was forced into a green SUV. That SUV was found abandoned on Nov. 8.

RELATED: FBI releases surveillance video of the stolen SUV seen in Lumberton moments after kidnapping

Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill stressed that the rumors being spread on social media are making it difficult for them to their jobs.

"We need these rumors stopped," he said. "It makes it harder to find Hania."

DO YOU KNOW HIM? FBI releases video of man seen walking near Hania's abduction site

Chief McNeill said they also need to see more surveillance video from around the area the SUV was found in order to pinpoint when it was abandoned.

He added that officers are working around the clock to bring Hania home.