1 year since Hania Aguilar’s kidnapping, murder

State - Regional

LUMBERTON, NC (WBTW) – Tuesday marks on year since Robeson County teenager Hania Aguilar was kidnapped and murdered.

Briana Fernandez talked with Hania’s mother, Celeste Hernandez, during an exclusive interview. She described the day her daughter was kidnapped.

Her mom said Hania was dropped off at her aunt’s home in the Rosewood Mobile Home Park community, because she had just started a new job and wasn’t able to take her to school, and that was the last time she would ever see Hania.

Aguilar was kidnapped from a yard in the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in the Lumberton area on November 5, 2018. Officials said she was forced into a stolen SUV and an Amber Alert was issued by state officials shortly after 10 a.m. on November 5.

The stolen SUV used in Aguilar’s kidnapping was found in Lumberton, FBI officials announced on November 8, 2018.

A body, which was later identified as that of Hania Aguilar, was found off Wire Grass Road in the Lumberton area on November 27, 2018.

On December 8, 2018, Michael McLellan was charged for the kidnapping and death of Aguilar. He was already behind bars in Robeson County when these charges were filed following an arrest on November 13, 2018 on unrelated armed robbery and kidnapping charges, warrants confirmed.

On December 9, 2018, a funeral was held for Aguilar at Lumberton High School.

McLellan was indicted on the following charges in connection to Aguilar’s kidnapping and death on May 6, 2019:

  • First degree murder
  • First degree force sex offense
  • Statutory sexual offense with person less than 15 years of age
  • Larceny of motor vehicle 
  • Felonious restraint 
  • Abduction of children
  • Concl/fail report death child 
  • First degree forcible rape
  • Statutory rape of child <=15
  • First degree kidnapping 

In June 2019, News13 learned that prosecutors would seek the death penalty against McLellan for Aguilar’s kidnapping, rape, and murder.

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