The plea for information in the case of a missing teen who was abducted outside her southeastern North Carolina home is growing “more urgent by the minute,” according to the FBI.
Hania Aguilar, 13, was last seen outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton just before 7 a.m. on Nov. 5. The teen was waiting on a ride to school near a relative’s SUV that was parked and idling when a witness heard a scream and saw someone force the girl into the vehicle and drive off, police said.
The only trace of Aguilar since that time has been the stolen green Ford Expedition, which was found abandoned on Nov. 8 less than 10 miles from the mobile home park. Evidence recovered from the vehicle is being analyzed at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia, authorities said.
The same day the vehicle was recovered, the FBI released surveillance video of an individual, believed to be a man, walking toward the mobile home park prior to the girl’s disappearance. The individual in the video appears to be wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and a hoodie. Police said the person in the footage is not considered a suspect or person of interest at this time but rather someone they “want to speak with.”
“Someone knows this man, and we need you to call us,” FBI supervisory resident agent Andy de la Rocha told reporters Friday. “Maybe you recognize the way he walks, his mannerisms, or maybe he will recognize himself on TV.”
The FBI released a statement by Elsa Hernandez, the missing girl’s mother, that said:
I just want my daughter back with me. I’m here waiting for you, I love you and only care about you. I don’t have anything against whoever did this to you. I just want you back.
Authorities said the teen’s family is fully cooperating and detectives have no reason to think the girl knows her abductor.
The FBI is offering a $15,000 reward for information that helps find Aguilar, an eighth-grader at Lumberton Junior High School. The North Carolina governor’s office is offering an additional reward of $5,000.
An Amber Alert, disseminated by the North Carolina Center for Missing Persons to help find missing children after they disappear, remains active. It describes the missing girl as Hispanic with black hair and brown eyes. She is about 5 feet tall and weighs 125 pounds. She was last seen wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt with flowers.
The Lumberton Police Department has set up a tip line and is asking anyone with information to call 910-272-5871. Individuals living in the area with surveillance cameras that may have recorded anything of interest are being asked to contact police. Authorities are also asking people living in the community to check their property for anything of evidentiary value.