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Posted: December 06, 2018

Father of slain North Carolina teen denied temporary visa into US for funeral

What You Need to Know: Missing North Carolina 8th Grader Hania Aguilar

By WSOCTV.com

LUMBERTON, N.C. —

The father of a North Carolina teenager who was kidnapped and killed has been denied a visa to attend her funeral.

>> Watch the news report here

Services for Hania Aguilar are set for Saturday in Lumberton.

Hania’s father lives in Guatemala and needs a special visa to attend.

>> On WSOCTV.com: 'We are absolutely devastated': Mourners begin 9 nights of vigils for Lumberton teen

About 10,000 people signed a petition, and Gov. Roy Cooper even got involved.

Naimeh Salem, the father’s attorney, told WSOC-TV that the visa was denied.

“They said he doesn’t have enough ties to the country to issue him a temporary visa to go to Hania's funeral,” Salem said.

>> On WSOCTV.com: FBI: Search continues for kidnapped North Carolina teen

Salem said they are still holding out hope that U.S. officials will have a change of heart.

Hania was taken from her home in early November.

Last week, her body was found in the water about 10 miles away.

Detectives are still searching for evidence that leads them to her killer.

The petition to the Guatemalan Embassy was circulating online to get him a non-immigrant visa.

>> Read more trending news 

"They want to see that you have no intent to remain here in the U.S. if you enter on a non-immigrant visa, so they're gonna look at things people don't realize, like your income, your bank accounts, your family members, all the things that would say you are going to return to your home country,” immigration attorney Stacey Maynor said.

Timeline:

  • Nov. 5: A man wearing all black and a yellow bandanna kidnapped Hania Aguilar from her front yard on Elizabethtown Road, forcing her into the family's SUV. Authorities issued an Amber Alert.
  • Nov. 7: The FBI released surveillance video of the stolen SUV seen in Lumberton moments after the girl’s kidnapping.
  • Nov. 8: Authorities found the stolen SUV not far from the kidnapping scene, but there was no sign of Hania.
  • Nov. 27: FBI and police find human remains off Wire Grass Road. 
  • Nov. 28: Preliminary test results from the medical examiner indicate body found was that of Hania.

Maynor said Hania's father would need the special visa and a green card, and the process to get one of those visas could take weeks.

“Even with enough support and contacting the right people to push it through, it is very unlikely that it's gonna happen in time for him to be here for the actual funeral,” Maynor said.

There is still a $30,000 reward for information that leads investigators to the person who killed the 13-year-old.


Related

Family Photo/Via FBI/AP

Still no sign of kidnapped North Carolina teen as FBI continues search

Family Photo/Via FBI/AP

Still no sign of kidnapped North Carolina teen as FBI continues search

This Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018, photo provided by FBI shows Hania Noelia Aguilar, the day before she went missing in Lumberton, N.C. Authorities say they have found the SUV stolen during the kidnapping of the 13-year-old girl at a North Carolina mobile home park, and now hope to identify a person seen in a surveillance video. (FBI via AP)

Community petitions to allow father of slain kidnapped teen into US for funeral

A North Carolina community is trying to help the father of a Lumberton teen who was kidnapped and killed get to her funeral.

>> Read more trending news

Hania Aguilar was taken from her home in early November.

Earlier this week, her body was found in the water about 10 miles away.

>>Related: Body found off road in area searched by FBI for abducted North Carolina teen

Detectives are still searching for evidence that leads them to her killer.

Hania’s father is in Guatemala and can't make it to the United States.

A petition to the Guatemalan Embassy is circulating online to change that.

"They want to see that you have no intent to remain here in the U.S. if you enter on a nonimmigrant visa, so they're gonna look at things people don't realize, like your income, your bank accounts, your family members, all the things that would say you are gonna return to your home country,” immigration attorney Stacey Maynor said.

Timeline:

  • Nov. 5 -- A man wearing all black and a yellow bandana kidnapped Hania Aguilar from her front yard on Elizabethtown Road, forcing her into the family's SUV. Authorities issued an Amber Alert.
  • Nov. 7 -- The FBI released surveillance video of the stolen SUV seen in Lumberton moments after the girl’s kidnapping.
  • Nov. 8 -- Authorities found the stolen SUV not far from the kidnapping scene, but there was no sign of Hania.
  • Nov. 27 – The FBI and police find human remains off Wire Grass Road. 
  • Nov. 28 -- Preliminary test results from the medical examiner indicate the body found was that of Hania. 

Maynor says Hania's father would need a special visa and a green card, and the process to get one of those visas could take weeks.

“Even with enough support and contacting the right people to push it through, it is very unlikely that it's gonna happen in time for him to be here for the actual funeral,” Maynor said.

Hania’s funeral is scheduled for next Saturday in Lumberton.

There is still a $30,000 reward for information that leads investigators to the person who killed the 13-year-old.

‘This is the outcome we all feared:’ Body found believed to be kidnapped teen

Investigators said preliminary tests indicate a body found in Robeson County, North Carolina Tuesday is that of a 13-year-old girl who disappeared three weeks ago.

>> Read more trending news 

A news release Tuesday said FBI agents and detectives with the Lumberton Police Department found the body around 4:45 p.m. in an area off Wire Grass Road, east of Interstate 95 and south of Lumberton.

Officials said the body found is believed to be that of  eighth grader Hania Aguilar, who was kidnapped Nov. 5 from a mobile home park after going outside to start a relative's vehicle to prepare to leave for the school bus stop. Police said a man then forced the teenager into an SUV and drove off.

The SUV was later found in Lumberton several miles from the mobile home park.

The FBI said that the body was removed from the scene by officials and was taken to the state crime lab in Raleigh for identification and an autopsy.

>> Related: FBI: Search continues for kidnapped North Carolina teen

The body was found as the FBI, Lumberton police, the SBI and the Robeson County Sheriff's Office were following leads related to the search for Aguilar, the FBI said.

Aguilar's mother and other family members gathered at the Lumberton Police Department Tuesday night, waiting on developments in the case. Her mother, visibly distraught, was led away in an ambulance. The FBI said that the last three weeks have taken a toll on the family.

Authorities had an extensive perimeter set up and the area was blocked off. A neighbor described the area where investigators were working.

"On one side, it's a wooded area. On the other ... it's a creek with a little house, but on the side (investigators) were on, it's a wooded area," said Anita Hunt. "The little girl that's been missing, that's all that goes through my mind since she's been missing."

>> Related: Still no sign of kidnapped North Carolina teen as FBI continues search

The neighborhood has been on constant alert in the three weeks since Aguilar was kidnapped.

"She's 13. She's a baby," Hunt said. "Everywhere I go, I'm looking. You can't help it."

"I'm hoping that it's not her," neighbor Annie Hall added. She said her son played with Aguilar and that she was well known and loved by many in the neighborhood.

Kids haven't been playing outside nearly as much since Aguilar's abduction. 

"She used to be in the neighborhood, play with the kids, basketball out in the yard. All the kids would play out in the yard," Hall said. "There was never a problem like this before."

The Public Schools of Robeson County Superintendent Dr. Shanita Wooten released the following statement after the body was found:

"On behalf of PSRC district leaders, administrators, staff and students, we extend our sincerest condolences to Hania’s family, friends, and community. This is a difficult time for our entire district and we are mourning this loss and are still processing this terrible tragedy. We are keeping Hania in our thoughts and will continue to pray for her family and each other as the investigation continues.”

>> Related: Police: Man abducted girl, 13, in front of North Carolina home

Investigators said they've reviewed more than 800 leads and interviewed more than 400 people in this case. There is still a $30,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.

Body found off road in area searched by FBI for abducted North Carolina teen

A body was found Tuesday in Robeson County, North Carolina, off a road where the FBI had requested video in the search for an abducted girl.

>> Read more trending news 

Hania Aguilar, 13, was kidnapped outside her home in Lumberton earlier this month as she was getting ready to go to school.

Federal agents and Lumberton police detectives found the body in an area off Wire Grass Road late Tuesday afternoon.

The body has not been positively identified but investigators with the FBI, Lumberton police, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Robeson County Sheriff's Office were following leads related to the search for Aguilar when the discovery was made, the FBI said. 

“Out of an abundance of caution, investigators have notified Hania's family, but again, no confirmation has been made of the identity of the body found,” the FBI said in a tweet. 

Family members said they last saw the eighth-grader the morning of Nov. 5 when she went outside to start a relative's vehicle to prepare to leave for the bus stop. That’s when they police a man forced the girl into an SUV and drove off.

>> Related: Still no sign of kidnapped North Carolina teen as FBI continues search

Authorities said the SUV was later found in Lumberton several miles from the mobile home park where Aguilar lived.

Investigators had been collecting and analyzing surveillance video since Aguilar was taken from her home and the FBI has followed up on more than 50 leads in the girl’s abduction.

Still no sign of kidnapped North Carolina teen as FBI continues search

Family Photo/Via FBI/AP

Still no sign of kidnapped North Carolina teen as FBI continues search

The FBI and other police agencies are continuing their search to find a 13-year-old girl kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park.

>> Read more trending news 

The FBI said Saturday that agents are conducting searches on foot and using drones as part of the search for Hania Noelia Aguilar.

Relatives say the eighth-grader went outside last week to start a relative's SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop. Police say a man then forced her into an SUV and drove off.

Authorities said the SUV was later found in Lumberton, several miles from the mobile home park.

A total reward of $30,000 is being offered for information leading to the girl.

The FBI said it has no reason to believe Hania has been spotted in Charlotte.

On Tuesday, officials said someone in Charlotte called to report seeing a girl who looked like Aguilar. They said the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was looking into the report, but at this point, there is no reason to believe it is accurate.

On Tuesday, the girl's mother released a handwritten statement: 

"I trust in God that my daughter will return. No one knows the pain I have in my heart. Despite all the criticism and speculation against me, I would never use my daughter’s name in order to take advantage of this situation. I thank all those people who have provided me help. Please, if you know something, call. I ask everyone not to make absurd comments. For the love of God respect my pain. I only want Hania, my princess, back. I miss her."

Investigators said they airlifted evidence to FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia so it can be analyzed and processed quickly in hopes of locating the missing teen.

The FBI said investigators need help to identify a person seen walking near the area where Hania was abducted on Nov. 5. FBI officials said their plea grows more and more urgent by the minute. 

>> Related: FBI poster released on Nov. 9

Search crews said they need to talk to anyone who lives near Rosewood Mobile Home Park and Quincey Drive and will be walking in the neighborhood to make contact with everyone.

Police Chief Michael McNeill asked Monday for people to contact police if someone they know is acting strange.

He said, "Maybe they haven't gone to work, haven't come home or they aren't answering your calls or your text messages."

The FBI released a new missing person poster for the girl. On the poster, the photos that show her wearing red were taken the day before the abduction.

Surveillance video the FBI released the day prior shows what appears to be a man wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and a hoodie walking south on Lambert Street, then turning north on Highway 41/Elizabethtown Highway toward the Rosewood Mobile Home Park.

FBI officials said surveillance images also helped them find the green SUV that was stolen and used in the kidnapping. 

According to the FBI, the SUV was located around 8 a.m. Nov. 8 off Quincey Drive in Lumberton, 10 miles from her home.

>> Related: 7 of 10 most stressed states in country are in the South; where do you rank?

Officials said the FBI's Evidence Response Team processed the vehicle for any clues.

The teen’s mother, Elsa Hernandez, is pleading for her daughter’s safe return.

"Return my daughter. I need her,” Hernandez said. “I am suffering for her. Her sisters, too."

Investigators have been collecting and analyzing surveillance video since Aguilar was taken from her home.

An FBI release issued last week said investigators were following nearly 50 leads in the girl's disappearance.

Police: Man abducted girl, 13, in front of North Carolina home

Lumberton Police Department

Police: Man abducted girl, 13, in front of North Carolina home

Update 1:13 p.m. EST Nov. 7:  Video images of the stolen SUV allegedly used to kidnap Hania Noelia Aguilar were released Wednesday by the Lumberton Police Department and the FBI.

Police did not reveal the vehicle’s exact location, but said the image was captured near the eighth-grader’s home in Lumberton, North Carolina, the television station reported. Police also captured an image of the stolen SUV on a surveillance camera in Lumberton.

Police said a man forced the 13-year-old girl into her family's green 2002 Ford Expedition, which is registered to Velasquez Hernandez of Summerville, S.C.

Authorities are asking anyone in the Lumberton area who may have a camera or video surveillance system to save the video and contact the tip line immediately at 910-272-5871.

Original report: Police in North Carolina are searching for a 13-year-old girl who they said was kidnapped Monday morning.

>> Read more trending news 

According to WRAL, the Lumberton Police Department said a man grabbed the Hispanic teenager, identified as Hania Noelia Aguilar, while she was standing in a yard in the Rosewood Mobile Home Park.

Police said the man forced the victim into a green 2002 Ford Expedition.

An Amber Alert has been issued for the teen.

Detectives told WRAL that the vehicle was registered to Velasquez Hernandez of Summerville, South Carolina. The SUV was last seen leaving the mobile home with a South Carolina tag: NWS-984.

Witnesses could not describe the suspect other than to say he had a yellow bandana over his face.

Anyone with information is asked to call Sgt. Pete Locklear at the Lumberton Police Department 910-671-3845 immediately.

 
 

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