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‘There’s always hope:’ One week later, search for Hania Noelia Aguilar continues

November 13, 2018
Hania Aguilar Source: FBI

It has been one week since someone kidnapped Hania Aguilar from the yard outside her Lumberton home, and investigators on Monday implored for more tips that could possibly be used to find the missing teen.

Lumberton police and the FBI said they have not given up on locating the missing 13-year-old teen, an eighth grader at Lumberton Junior High School.

She was abducted by a man dressed in black and wearing a yellow bandana while she was standing outside her family’s home in the Rosewood Mobile Home Park, located at 3525 E. Elizabethtown Road.

WRAL News questioned investigators about three possible scenarios: That she is being held against her will; she is with someone she wants to be with; or she’s no longer alive.

Authorities said they are conducting the search based on the premise that the teen is still alive.

Debbie Manning from the National Center for Missing and Endangered said that there is hope both because of the state’s track record with similar cases and frequency at which Hania’s story has been shared.

“North Carolina’s record in getting these missing children back is extremely high,” Manning said. “The use of social media through Facebook, and the police agencies having a Facebook page which the Lumberton Police Department does, brings tips.”

Manning said mindset is just as important as any tips authorities recieve.

“There’s always hope, and that’s what you have to do is think of hope. Even on cases that go on days and months and even years,” she said.

A reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Gov. Roy Cooper’s office is offering $5,000 for information that leads to Hania, while the FBI is offering $15,000.

Investigators are still looking for a man who was captured on a security cameras around the time the teenager was kidnapped.

The family’s green SUV used in the abduction was located Friday in the woods off Quincey Drive, which is about about 10 miles from where the teenager was kidnapped.

The SBI said Monday that fake tips and rumors on social media sites are hampering the investigation.

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