Dogs, drones help in active search for kidnapped Lumberton teen Hania Aguilar


The FBI and other police agencies are continuing their search to find a 13-year-old girl kidnapped from a North Carolina mobile home park.

The FBI said Saturday that agents are conducting searches on foot and using drones and K-9s as part of the search for Hania Noelia Aguilar.  The SBI used a search dog named Bart to help in the search on Saturday.

Relatives say the eighth-grader went outside around 7 a.m. Nov. 5  to start a relative’s SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop. Police say a man then forced her into an SUV and drove off.

Authorities said the SUV was later found in Lumberton, several miles from the mobile home park on Nov. 8. On Saturday, the FBI and other teams searched Robeson County, according to a news release Saturday afternoon from the FBI.

The FBI has increased its reward for information that leads to Aguilar or an arrest in the case to $25,000. The North Carolina Governor’s office has also offered a $5,000 reward.

Earlier this week, Lumberton police asked people to contact them if they know anyone in the area who has suddenly changed their behavior.

Officials made a specific plea this week that people stop spreading rumors about the case, which was slowing down the investigation.

“There are a lot of rumors and misinformation being shared on social media. If the information is not from the Lumberton Police Department, if it’s not from the FBI, then it’s not credible, it’s not reliable, it’s not confirmed, and it’s probably not true,” Andy de la Rocha said.

When asked about a timeline of events and possible scenarios in finding Aguilar, de la Rocha said “our approach is that she’s alive” and “we have no evidence that indicates otherwise.”

De la Rocha wouldn’t comment on what type of evidence was collected and sent for analysis. However, he did say the person seen walking in the area of where Aguilar went missing on video released last week remains unidentified.

He also said “we don’t ever set a time table on our investigations” when asked if there was a point in which the search would be called off.

Anyone with information about Aguilar is asked to call the tip line at 910-272-5871.

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