Despite a petition signed by thousands of people online urging the U.S. government to allow slain girl Hania Aguilar’s father to gain temporary access into the country to attend her funeral, the request has been denied.
“They said he doesn’t have enough ties to the country to issue him a temporary visa to go to Hania’s funeral,” the father’s lawyer, Naimeh Salem, told WSOC.
Hania, 13, was found murdered on November 27, three weeks after someone abducted her from her own driveway on November 5, at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton. Shortly after learning of her death, thousands of people signed a Change.org petition, in hopes that Hania’s father, of Guatemala, would be granted expedited permission to enter the U.S. for the girl’s funeral. The petition amassed over 50,000 signatures, prompting Gov. Roy Cooper to get involved.
Although the request has been denied, Salem said he hopes officials will change their minds before Hania’s funeral, scheduled for Saturday in Lumberton.
Meanwhile, authorities continue to search for the young girl’s killer.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a man dressed in all black with a yellow bandana covering his face approached Hania after she started up her aunt’s SUV at around 6:58 a.m. on November 5. The man forced Hania into the SUV and drove away before anyone could stop him. Investigators found the SUV a few days later, abandoned several miles away from the mobile home park.
Security camera footage released a few days after Hania disappeared showed a man walking toward the Rosewood Mobile Home Park on the same morning and around the time Hania was kidnapped. He wore a hoodie, a light shirt, and light shoes.
Although authorities have not named the man in the video as a suspect, they want to speak with him, but he has not come forward. Earlier this month, forensic psychologist Michael Teague told WRAL that people should watch the video closely, as the way the man walks and his clothing could possibly lead to his identity.
Anyone with credible information on the case should contact the tip line authorities set up specifically for Hania’s case at 910-272-5871. Tipsters can also leave anonymous leads in “crime drop boxes” set up in different Lumberton locations.
[Feature Photo: Hania Aguilar/Handout]