Share

FBI: Man arrested in death of North Carolina teenager

Share

LUMBERTON, N.C. (AP) — Police have arrested and charged a man with killing a 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped last month from a North Carolina mobile home park.

The FBI said early Saturday that Michael Ray McLellan has been charged in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Hania Noelia Aguilar. The announcement comes the same day that a memorial service for Aguilar is set to take place at a local high school.

The 34-year-old McLellan faces first-degree murder, rape and eight other felony charges. He’d been released from prison in June and was still on parole from a 2017 felony breaking and entering conviction, according to the News & Observer of Raleigh.

He was previously convicted in 2007 of assault with a deadly weapon and was released on parole in 2016, the newspaper reported.

He is being held without bond in the Robeson County Detention Center. He will appear in court at the Robeson County Courthouse on Monday.

Trending:
This 5-Year-Old Tweet from Hillary Clinton Just Resurfaced, And It Reminds Everyone Why She Wasn't Elected

McLellan was in custody at the time of his arrest on charges unrelated to the Aguilar case, police said.

On Nov. 5, police said Aguilar went outside to start a relative’s SUV to prepare to leave for the bus stop when a man forced her into the vehicle and fled.

Her disappearance sparked an intensive search. Drones, dogs, and scores of searchers on foot spent the following weeks combing the area. Police found her body several weeks later in a body of water about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of the mobile home park where she was kidnapped.

“This is the outcome that we all feared,” Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill told reporters after the body was found. “We did not want to hear this. We wanted to bring Hania back home and bring her back home alive to our community. It hurts.”

Police said they followed more than 850 leads and conducted nearly 500 interviews. The FBI’s lab at Quantico, Virginia did a forensic exam on the stolen SUV, which was recovered a few days after Aguilar’s initial disappearance. The North Carolina State Crime Lab provided test results on Aguilar’s body. Police said the exams helped result in the charges against McLellan.

A large turnout is expected at Aguilar’s funeral Saturday at Lumberton High School. Her father, who lives in Guatemala, was denied an expedited visa to attend his daughter’s funeral.

Police said the investigation is ongoing and additional charges could be filed.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation