Local News

Profiler: Killer likely knew Hania Aguilar or her neighborhood

Posted November 30, 2018 5:18 p.m. EST
Updated November 30, 2018 6:55 p.m. EST

— The search for a Robeson County teen may be over, but the search for her killer continues.

Hania Aguilar was abducted from outside her Lumberton home on Nov. 5, with the kidnapper using the Aguilar family's SUV to flee the area. An intense search for the missing 13-year-old ended Tuesday, when her body was found in some water about 10 miles away.

Michael Teague, a forensic psychologist who previously worked as a criminal profiler for both the Raleigh Police Department and what is now the state Department of Public Safety, said the circumstances surrounding the abduction provide clues to the perpetrator.

"A guy just happened to be walking by as she was getting into the car? That is so coincidental," Teague said Friday, adding that the person who killed Aguilar is likely familiar with her or the area.

"This just didn't happen out of nowhere. I mean, this person didn't just drop out of Mars," he said. "They would be walking around the area. I mean, you almost have to be from there, working from there."

A few days after Aguilar was kidnapped, investigators released a security camera video of a man walking toward the trailer park where she lived minutes before the abduction. Although his face is obscured, Teague said his clothes and even the way he walks could be clues to tracking him down.

Investigators haven't named any suspects or even persons of interest whom they want to speak with, but they continue to following up on leads. Wild speculation online about who might have kidnapped and killed the teen doesn't help.

"I think that is the whole job of an investigator, to evaluate where does he or she spend their time in following up the leads here," Teague said.

Aguilar's body is at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh, where an autopsy will determine how and when she died.

"We will know a lot, I think, from that," Teague said.