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‘Hispanics live there, they have money & drugs’: Suspected murderer targeted slain girl Hania Aguilar’s neighborhood before kidnapping, raping & killing her [Report]

Hania Aguilar, a North Carolina teen abducted and killed last year, likely died due to suffocation, according to an autopsy report released Wednesday. Unsealed court documents released the following day provided grim details on how the suspected killer targeted Hania’s neighborhood before zeroing in on her.

ABC 11 Durham reports the autopsy indicated 13-year-old Hania’s body was found in a pit of water in Robeson County. The water measured a little over 4-feet deep. Authorities found her naked and face down, with a plastic folding table put on top of her. Her body showed signs of sexual abuse.

According to the unsealed court documents obtained by the outlet, numerous witnesses reported seeing a black male wearing a yellow bandana trying to break into their home on November 5. Around 12 minutes later, a family member of Hania’s contacted 911 and reported she had been kidnapped.

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After police released surveillance footage of a man walking near Hania’s home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton, a woman called authorities and said the man was likely Michael Ray McLellan. She told police she saw him running away while helicopters searched the area.

Numerous other witnesses came forward and told authorities that McLellan made plans to target specific neighborhoods, including Hania’s area. McLelland reportedly said “Hispanics live there and they have drugs and money.”

Another witness told investigators that McLellan chose a yellow bandana so people would think he was a member of the Latin Kings gangs and wouldn’t think he was black.

Court documents also detailed a 2016 rape of a North Carolina woman, who reported the incident shortly after it happened. A DNA test matched McLellan to the crime, according to the documents, but authorities failed it act on it. Had McLellan been arrested in the case, Hania would have likely been alive today.

McLellan remains behind bars on numerous charges including murder, rape, statutory sex offense with a person 15 years or younger, larceny, restraint, concealment of a death, and child abduction.

Hania Aguilar
Hania Aguilar [Photo: Handout]
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Hania was standing in the driveway of her family home at around 6:58 a.m. on November 5, when McLellan, wearing all black clothing and a yellow bandana over his face, allegedly grabbed her. The suspect forced the girl into her aunt’s SUV, that she had just started up for her family before they were to drive her to school.

The abduction happened within minutes and the suspect fled the scene with Hania and the vehicle before anyone could stop him.

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 immediately began processing the vehicle for evidence. Court documents stated authorities found McLellan’s DNA in the vehicle, along with a rope and a photo of an unnamed female.

On November 27, authorities found Hania, deceased and submerged in a body of water off of Wire Grass Road, at around 4:45 p.m.

Authorities arrested McLellan after receiving results from the FBI’s laboratory at Quantico, in connection with evidence found on the SUV.

McLellan is currently being held at the Robeson County Detention Center without bond.

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[Feature Photo: Michael McLellan, Hania Aguilar/Police Handout]