Police and FBI agents have found the body of abducted 13-year-old Hania Noelia Aguilar, authorities announced Wednesday in North Carolina.
Lumberton police officers and federal agents found the body about 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, in the same area from where investigators requested surveillance video last week.
"I wish we had a different outcome," said Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill at an afternoon press conference. "This is the outcome we all feared. We did not want to hear this.
"We will not stop until we find the person or persons responsible and bring them to justice," he added.
The Lumberton Junior High School student was waiting outside her home three weeks ago, just before 7 a.m.,for a ride to school from her family when she was forced into a running SUV in the driveway, which was a relative's car, authorities said. A witness heard the girl scream and said a man wearing black clothes and a yellow bandana shoved her into the vehicle and drove away.
The stolen SUV was found abandoned about 10 miles from the family's home in Robeson County.
Authorities refused to answer questions Wednesday about conditions of the girl's body, saying only it was found Wire Grass Road in a wooded area not visible from the street. The child's remains were "hidden" and in a "body of water," said FBI agent Andy De la Rocha.
The body has been sent to the local coroner for an autopsy to determine the cause of death, McNeill said.
Police and federal authorities implored social media users to stop posting "rumors" about the case, which reached a fever pitch Wednesday after a blogger claimed a suspect had been in custody since Nov. 13 and had already confessed to the killing.
There is no truth to that post, said McNeill and De la Rocha, and there is no person of interest thus far. Investigators implored residents to call Lumberton police with any information they may have.
Hania’s abduction came one day after about 60 people gathered to honor their loved ones who were killed, found dead or went missing from Lumberton and Pembroke, neighboring communities within Robeson County.
“We are in this fight together as a whole county,” Shelia Price told InsideEdition.com.
Price’s daughter, Rhonda Jones, was one of three women who were found dead within a four-block radius between April 18 and June 3, 2017. The bodies of Jones, 36, and Kristin “Christina” Bennett, 32, were found dead 50 yards apart from each other on the same day, while Megan Oxendine, 28, was found about two city blocks away. Her death came several weeks after she had spoken on the news about Jones’ death. The circumstances behind their deaths remain unknown.
“It takes a group like us to get out in the town, so people start asking questions,” Price said, who noted they plan to march again in the Pembroke Christmas parade. “It’s been a long 18 months.”