LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – Public Schools of Robeson County Superintendent Dr. Shanita Wooten says she and Lumberton Junior High School Principal Dr. SaVon Maultsby received word of the potentially tragic conclusion to the search of Hania Aguilar by Sergeant Pete Locklear of the Lumberton Police Department Tuesday night.
“Upon receiving full confirmation, the district will provide increased support staff that will be made available for all students and staff at Lumberton Junior High School. Dr. Wooten said this is an unfortunate end to an extensive search and they are committed to supporting all students and staff as they cope with the heartbreaking tragedy,” Wooten wrote on Facebook.
Dr. Wooten released the following statement on Facebook Tuesday night: “On behalf of PSRC district leaders, administrators, staff and students, we extend our sincerest condolences to Hania’s family, friends, and community. This is a difficult time for our entire district and we are mourning this loss and are still processing this terrible tragedy. We are keeping Hania in our thoughts and will continue to pray for her family and each other as the investigation continues.”
The body was found off Wire Grass Road on Tuesday afternoon, according to Sheriff Ken Sealey, with the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
Shelley Lynch, with the FBI Charlotte Division, says the body was found around 4:45 p.m. by FBI Agents and Lumberton Police Department detectives.
“The body has not been positively identified, but investigators with the FBI, Lumberton PD, the SBI, and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office were following leads related to the search for 13-year-old Hania Aguilar when the discovery was made,” Lynch said. “Out of an abundance of caution, investigators have notified Hania’s family, but again no confirmation has been made of the identify of the body found. Please continue to pray for Hania, her family, and each other as the investigation continues to find out who kidnapped Hania and hold them responsible.”
Late Tuesday, Lynch said the body had been removed from the scene by officials and is on the way to the state crime lab in Raleigh for identification and an autopsy. There is no time frame for when a positive identification will be made, according to Lynch.
The FBI says it continues its investigation.