FBI releases surveillance video in Aguilar kidnapping investigation in Lumberton
As the multi-agency search for a missing Lumberton 13-year-old entered its fourth day Thursday, authorities found the green SUV the teen was abducted in. They also asked for the public’s help in identifying a person seen on a surveillance video walking toward the site of the kidnapping.
But there was no sign of the teen, Hania Noelia Aguilar, who has been missing since Monday morning.
Hania was waiting for her family to take her to school Monday at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park when she was taken. A caller to 911 told an operator that the family’s Ford Expedition was already running when the teen was taken by a male subject dressed in all black and wearing a yellow bandana.
On Thursday, some yellow crime scene tape remained in Hania’s yard and around a neighbor’s house at the mobile home park. Several friends walked into Hania’s house with grocery bags. Hania’s family declined to speak with a News & Observer reporter.
Elsa Hernández, Hania’s mother, is leaning on her faith and believes her daughter is safe, she told Qué Pasa, a Raleigh Spanish-language newspaper.
“To the person who has my daughter, please give her back to me. I need her. I’m suffering and so are her sisters,” Hernández told Qué Pasa.
“I’m a person of faith, I believe in God and always have. I know that my daughter is safe with you, wherever you have her. I don’t have any resentment toward you because I believe in God. I believe she’ll return.”
Hernández said she doesn’t believe her daughter ran away.
The FBI said Thursday morning that a tipster alerted authorities to the location of the missing vehicle, which was found on Quincey Drive in Lumberton.
Later Thursday, the FBI released the surveillance video of a person seen walking toward the mobile home park on Monday morning. They asked for the public’s help in identifying the person. The person appears to be a man walking south on Lambeth Street then turning left on Highway 41 about an hour before Hania was kidnapped, according to FBI investigator Andy Delarocha.
The person appears to be wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and a dark hoodie.
“Our search for Hania expands every second and it also becomes more and more dire,” the FBI said Thursday. “We still need your help.”
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.
Maria Perez, 32, a neighbor just down the road from Hania’s house, said she saw police cars as she waited with her kids Monday morning at the bus stop, which is at the entrance of the neighborhood.
“The park was surrounded with police,” Perez said. “I had no idea what happened.”
She said she didn’t know Hania was missing until later in the day, when she went to a neighbor’s house that had been closed off with yellow tape.
“It was strange because their car wasn’t at the bus stop,” Perez said. “We usually leave the kids at the bus stop, and we know who else is there to leave their kids.”
Perez, who has been a resident in the mobile park for four years, said she and her family live in fear. A few homes down the street from her, a young man was stabbed recently, she said. She also said other residents have been assaulted in the mobile home park and that some homes have been broken into while the residents were at work.
It’s normal to see non-residents walking through the neighborhood at night, Perez added.
Casey Chavis, 20, a resident and maintenance worker at the mobile home park, said the streetlights throughout the park are not bright. He said most of the homes that get broken into are in the back of the park, where it’s not well lit.
“I try to stay in the house when it gets close to dark time,” Chavis said.
Swing sets, bicycles and trampolines are in several yards in the front half of Rosewood. At the heart of the park, a picture of Hania was taped to the community mailboxes Thursday.
Searching the vehicle
The FBI said an Evidence Response Team, made up of agents with special training in evidence collection and analysis, would process the SUV.
The vehicle’s discovery came a day after the FBI had issued a request for video or still images from anyone who had a camera operating in the area around where Hania was kidnapped.
The agency repeated the request Thursday, and agents asked anyone with any pictures or other information to call a Lumberton Police Department tip line at 910-272-5871.
The FBI has posted a $15,000 reward for information that helps them find Hania.
Neighbor Mildcaler Howie, 40, said her eighth-grade son had some classes with Hania at Lumberton Junior High School. She pointed to the neighbor’s trampoline where the two used to hang out. “He cries every night,” Howie said of her son.
She said when her son asked her whether she thinks investigators will find Hania she said to him, “Baby, we just gotta pray everything gonna be OK. It’s all we can do, right? We hope they find her.”