LUMBERTON, NC (FOX 46 Charlotte) - Officials say they believe a body discovered in Robeson County Tuesday afternoon is that of 13-year-old Hania Aguilar. App users click here.
During a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Lumberton Chief of Police Michael McNeil along with the FBI said preliminary tests indicate the body is the missing teen.
"I wish we had a different outcome for Hania's family, for the community that she lived in, and for the hundreds of law enforcement officers that put everything they had into finding her and bringing her back alive," Chief McNeil said. "We believe we have found the body of 13-year-old Hania Aguilar."
The body was found about 4:45 p.m. in a body of water off of Wire Grass Road in Robeson County. Officials said final confirmation will be done using dental records.
"This is the outcome we all feared was going to happen. We wanted to bring her back here and bring her back home alive. Our work is not over. We will not stop until we find the person or persons responsible and bring them to justice. We will not stop until we do that."
An autopsy will be conducted to determine cause of death.
Hania Aguilar, 13, was abducted from her home on Nov. 5, while waiting for the rest of her family to come out of their house in the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton, authorities said.
A witness heard her scream, looked outside, and saw a male subject dressed in all black and wearing a yellow bandana force Hania into a relative’s vehicle that was parked in the driveway.
The SUV was found several miles south of her mobile home park a few days later. The body was found a few miles farther away.
"Our work is far from over. We have to find out how she died, who did this to her, and we have to bring those responsible to justice," said Andy De LaRocha, FBI Senior Supervisory Resident Agent.
A report surfaced that a man had confessed to the crime and was in custody. The FBI has flatly denied that report.
"No arrests have been made and certainly no confession," said Shelley Lynch, Public Affairs Specialist for the FBI Charlotte Division.
The FBI is asking for the public’s help to determine when and how the body was placed on Wire Grass Road in Robeson County. Anyone with surveillance cameras near Wire Grass Road is urged to call the tip line at 910-272-5871.
A $30,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.
A GoFundMe has been set up to support Hania's family.
SEARCH FOR HANIA AGUILAR:
- Body found in Robeson County during search for missing 13-year-old
- Outpouring of support, prayers after body found 'believed to be Hania'
- Report: No arrest or confession in 13-year-old Hania Aguilar's kidnapping
- Amber Alert issued after 13-year-old abducted from NC home, police say
- $30K reward now offered for information on missing NC teen