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By Phil Helsel
Investigators on Thursday continued ground searches in pursuit of a suspect in the abduction and death of a 1
3-year-old North Carolina girl whom the teenage classmates prepared to honor her by wearing her favorite color, officials said.
Students at Lumberton Junior High School will have purple on Friday in memory of Hania Aguilar, whose body was believed to have been found in a body of water on Tuesday more than three weeks after she was abducted outside her home.
“The wonderful memories of Hania-loving smile, her laughter, fun conversations, friendly acts and fun times will not be removed by this senseless act of violence,” said SaVon F. Maultsby, Prime Minister, at a press conference on Thursday.
Preliminary tests indicates the body found around 16.45 Tuesday outside Wire Grass Road in Robeson County, in an area that is not visible from the road, it is for Hania – but dental comparisons will confirm the identification, officials said Wednesday.
Hania was abducted outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton on the morning of November 5, before her family was driving her to a school bus stop, officials said.
Witnesses reported that he heard a scream and a man was wearing black with a yellow bandanna over his forced her into a family member’s sports vehicle and drove off. Hania had gone out to wait for the rest of the family, had received the keys to the SUV and had started the vehicle before she was taken, her sister said. The vehicle was found on November 8 in some forests, officials have said.
Hania Aguilar FBI
Investigators have no person interested in the case and no arrests have been made, but the FBI and police continued the investigation and followed wirings and conducted ground searches on Thursday, the FBI said.
“We will not stop – we will not stop until we find the person or manager and we will correct them,” Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said Wednesday. “We will not stop until we do it.”
At the same time, students at the Lumberton Junior High have held prayer vigilers and made posters and banners and other forms of support during the search, and the district said there would be there to support her family during the weeks and months ahead.
Maultsby thanked the law enforcement for the many hours they devoted to the search for Hania, and she invited everyone with information in the inquiry to call authorities.
Kelvin Barnes, matte teacher, said that society has been through Hurricanes Matthew and Florence and been “Viking strong” and will also come through this tragedy.
“Co-workers and students always remember Hania and will always be Viking strong,” he said.