The North Carolina governor’s office has added $5,000 to the reward for a missing Robeson County teenager.
During a press conference on Friday, Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill announced the NC governor’s office will add $5,000 to the reward for information leading to the location of 13-year-old Hania Aguilar.
The FBI previously announced a $15,000 reward for information leading to Aguilar’s return.
Law enforcement officials have conducted a ground search within a mile of where a stolen SUV used in Aguilar’s kidnapping was found, Chief McNeill said. Officials are asking people who live around the area to check their property and buildings, and to call 911 if anything seems unusual.
“It breaks my heart to stand here before you five days later after Hania’s been missing and kidnapped, and not have her back home yet,” said Chief McNeill. “We’re working real hard, real hard, with all the law enforcement partners we’ve got, all the community that we have here. They’re working hard to bring her home to her family, which is my family also.”
A man walking near the scene of Aguilar’s kidnapping still has not been identified, said Andy De La Rocha, with the FBI. The FBI released video of this man on Thursday.
The man was wearing light colored shoes, a light colored shirt, and a hoodie, De La Rocha also said. The man turned left on Highway 41/North Elizabethtown Road towards the Rosewood Mobile Home Park and several vehicles were seen passing him.
“Someone knows this man and we need you to call us with information. Maybe you recognize the way he walks, his mannerisms, or maybe he’ll recognize himself on TV,” added De La Rocha. “The person responsible, if they’re watching this, we’re coming after you. We’re not going to stop, we’re not going to stop in the pursuit of justice.”
Officials also shared a message from Hania’s mother, who asked for people to come forward with information in order to bring Hania home.
The FBI also asked people not to spread rumors on social media, saying it takes away from the investigation.
“We’re asking folks that are on social media not to spread rumors, accusations, innuendos. Stick with the facts. We’re sharing as much as we possibly can with you, but every time a false lead comes in, it drains our precious resource away from the logical leads,” De La Rocha said.
Information can be provided by calling a tip line at 910-272-5871.
Missing posters are available in both English and Spanish on the FBI’s website here.
WBTW News13 will provide updates as we receive them on-air, online, and on Facebook.