Local News

7 days after kidnapping, reward rises to $20K in Hania Aguilar case

Posted November 11, 2018 4:58 p.m. EST
Updated November 12, 2018 11:25 a.m. EST

— Hania Noelis Aguilar was kidnapped outside of her Lumberton home seven days ago.

Aguilar, an eighth grader at Lumberton Junior High School, was abducted Monday 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.

Gov. Roy Cooper's office is offering $5,000 for information that leads to Hania Noelia Aguilar. The FBI is offering $15,000.

A Lumberton woman says she knows the pain Aguilar’s mother is going through, as her own daughter has been missing for more than a year.

Samantha Lovette says she can imagine the pain Hania’s mother feels.

“You don’t have any clue of the kind of anguish and pain from a mother’s heart,” Lovette said.

Lovette’s daughter, 21-year-old Abby Patterson, disappeared last September after police said she got into a brown Buick on East 9th Street in Lumberton.

Police have searched for Patterson, but she hasn’t been seen since.

“I am not here just to put everything out on Abby. Yes, I am still searching for Abby, and I’ll never give up, but this, I’m very close to this case,” Lovette said of Hania’s disappearance. “Something about this case struck me. She is only 13 years old.”

Lovette read from a letter she wrote asking the community to help in Hania’s abduction and pray for her family.

“Especially Hania’s mother. I know she isn’t sleeping, eating, thinking the worst. I am begging someone, from one mother’s desperate heart to another mother’s broken heart, to please call the tip line,” she said.

Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeil and the FBI said the stolen vehicle was found Thursday shortly before 8 a.m. off Quincey Drive in Lumberton, but Hania has not been located. The FBI's Evidence Response Team was set to process the vehicle for evidence, investigators said.

The FBI last week released surveillance video showing what appears to be a man walking in the area where the girl was taken.

Investigators said the man was walking south on Lambeth Street before turning north on NC Highway 41 towards the mobile home park where the girl lived with her family. Anyone who saw the person was asked to call the tip line.