The sinister discovery of a body near the place where a North Carolina teenager has disappeared from outside his family's mobile home has relatives, friends and an entire community ready to face a painful outcome.
The FBI reported that their agents and the Lumberton police found the body Tuesday night south of the city, in a neighborhood where the authorities were looking for Hania Noelia Aguilar, 13, a student at Lumberton Junior High.
The FBI said the body was sent to the Organized Crime Lab in Raleigh for identification and autopsy.
"It is thought that the body is Hania, but the identity has not been confirmed yet," said Dr. Shanita Wooten, Superintendent of Robeson County Schools, in a statement. "The authorities have informed Hania's family and are waiting for the body to be positively identified."
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Hania was abducted on November 5th after being out to start a sport utility vehicle for a family member who was to drive her to the school bus. A neighbor said that she had heard screams, then saw a man dressed in black and wearing a yellow bandana, forcing Hania to get into the SUV and move away.
The FBI joined local police and state police during a mass search. The vehicle was found three days later in a forested area several kilometers from Hania's home. Authorities followed more than 800 tracks, interviewed more than 400 people, examined hours of surveillance videos and "followed every imaginable path" in Hania's search, the FBI announced.
Wooten said that support staff would be made available to Hania students and school staff.
"It's an unfortunate end to a long search and we are committed to helping all students and staff deal with the heartbreaking tragedy," says the school district's release. "This is a difficult time for our entire district and we mourn this loss and are still dealing with this terrible tragedy.
"We keep Hania in our thoughts and continue to pray for her family and each other during the investigation."
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