The reward fund for information that leads to the whereabouts of a missing teen girl has reached $20,000 after the state of North Carolina added $5,000 to the FBI’s reward of $15,000.
ABC reports that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced the additional money on Friday during a press conference, as authorities continue to search for missing 13-year-old Hania Aguilar. The teen disappeared five days ago while standing outside of her family home in Lumberton.
“It breaks my heart to stand here before you five days after Hania has been missing and kidnapped and not have her back yet,” Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said during a Friday press conference.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Hania vanished Monday morning from her own driveway at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton. She walked outside at around 6:58 a.m. to start her aunt’s SUV up, when an unknown man wearing all black clothing and a yellow bandana over his face approached her and forced her into the vehicle before driving it away.
Police found the vehicle abandoned a few days later, off of Quincey Drive in Lumberton after someone called 911 after spotting it. The FBI’s evidence response team is processing the vehicle for evidence.
Meanwhile, authorities are asking anyone in the area with surveillance cameras to look closely for anything that may be of interest in the case. Investigators are looking for a man wearing a hoodie, a light shirt, and light shoes walking toward the Rosewood Mobile Home Park on the same morning and around the time the young girl was kidnapped.
Investigators said that the man is not considered a suspect at this time, but he’s someone authorities would like to speak with in case he saw anything or anyone that morning.
“He’s just someone we want to speak with,” FBI supervisory senior resident agent, C Andrew de la Rocha, said.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reports that Hania is described as a Hispanic female with black hair and brown eyes. She stand 5-feet tall and weighs around 126 pounds. She was last seen wearing a blue shirt with flower prints and blue jeans.
“I don’t have words to describe how I feel,” Aguilar’s mother, Elsa Hernandez told ABC11 “She’s a good, sweet girl.”
McNeil said Thursday that authorities are desperately seeking the public’s help in finding the missing girl.
“We urgently need the public’s help. We need them more now than ever to find Hania and bring her back.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the special tip line set up solely for Hania, at 910-272-5871.
[Feature Photo: Hania Aguilar/Handout, FBI Charlotte]