The search for a 13-year-old girl abducted from her Lumberton mobile home park expanded Tuesday as police and federal agents sent her picture as far away as Florida.
Investigators continue to follow all leads and consider all possibilities in the hunt for Hania Noelia Aguilar, who was reportedly forced into a stolen green 2002 Ford Expedition early Monday.
In a 911 call, one of the callers says the kidnapper took the girl into a family car that was already running. Hania was outside waiting to go to school, the caller said.
The FBI said Tuesday that it was a neighbor who called 911 at 6:54 a.m. to report the kidnapping after a relative of Hania’s ran to the neighbor to get help.
The recording released by the FBI alternates between a neighbor and an unidentified man speaking in Spanish.
A witness described the attacker as being dressed in all black and wearing a yellow bandanna on his face. State officials issued an Amber Alert for the teen and said the Ford had the South Carolina license tag number NWS-984 and a Clemson sticker in a rear window. The Lumberton police chief asked anyone who sees Hania or the vehicle to call his department at 910-671-3845.
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $15,000 for information in the case.
Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said the multiple agencies searching for Hania have circulated pictures across the state along with South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida, meaning truck stops and other businesses along highways will be asked to share it.
“I have asked every local business from Lumberton to do the same thing,” he said on a news feed from WPDE.
N.C. state troopers questioned drivers Tuesday morning along Elizabethtown Road near where police said the girl was kidnapped while waiting for a ride to Lumberton Middle School just before 7 a.m. Monday. Troopers showed drivers a poster with the missing girl’s picture, and those with potential help in the case were asked to pull over and talk with detectives, the FBI said in a news release.
Investigators stressed that all tips are valuable.
“Sometimes people think they don’t have important information to share,” said FBI Supervisor Andy Delarocha. “Please let us decide.”
Authorities described Hania as Hispanic, about 5 feet tall and weighing 126 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a blue shirt with flowers and blue jeans, according to the alert.
Delarocha read a statement from Hania’s mother: “I just want my daughter back with me. I’m here waiting for you. I love you and only care about you, and I don’t have anything against whoever did this to you. I just want you back.”
McNeill said the car was stolen from the scene and belonged to one of the Aguilar’s relatives.
Time is of the essence in child abduction cases, according to the FBI. A U.S. Department of Justice report, often cited by the FBI, says that “those missing children who are murdered are killed within a very short period of time.” If a child who was abducted is going to be killed, 74 percent are killed within the first 3 hours of being taken and 91 percent are killed within the first 24 hours.
Abbie Bennett and Charles Duncan contributed to this report.