ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. – The father of a North Carolina teenager who authorities say was kidnapped and killed last month is barred from attending her funeral after State Department officials refused to grant him a temporary visa, WSOC reports.
FBI officials say 13-year-old Hania Aguilar was taken from in front of her family’s Lumberton home. Twenty-two days later, authorities recovered a body they believe to be hers.
Hania’s father, Noé Aguilar, lives in Guatemala and won’t be allowed to attend the ceremony for his daughter Saturday, according to Naimeh Salem, his attorney.
“They said he doesn’t have enough ties to the country to issue him a temporary visa to go to Hania’s funeral,” Salem told WSOC.
This comes after thousands rallied in support of Aguilar’s father – about 10,000 people signed a petition and Gov. Roy Cooper even wrote a letter to the State Department in an attempt to secure a temporary visa.
Hania Aguilar was at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park waiting for the rest of her family to come outside and drive to school on Nov. 5 when she was forced into an SUV just before 7 a.m., according to officials.
“A witness saw a male subject dressed in all black and wearing a yellow bandanna force Hania into a relative’s vehicle that was parked in the driveway,” the FBI said in a statement.
On Nov. 27, officials following a lead found a body off Wire Grass Road. Investigators and the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office believe the body is Hania Aguilar’s, but a final autopsy using dental records has not been completed as of Thursday.
The suspect is still at large.
The FBI and Gov. Roy Cooper are offering a combined $30,000 reward for information leading to a suspect in Hania’s death. The FBI is offering $25,000 and Cooper is offering $5,000.