LUMBERTON, N.C. — Hours after police announced charges against a man accused of abducting and killing a 13-year-old Lumberton girl, family, friends and community members gathered for Hania Aguilar’s funeral.
More than 1,000 people paid their respects to Hania on Saturday at Lumberton High School.
Flowers, bows and balloons in purple, Hania’s favorite color, filled the gym.
Hania’s father was denied a temporary visa to attend the funeral, but his letter was read, saying in part, “Rest in peace, my princess.”
Her friends said she loved to smile and laugh.
"We were going to the bus stop, and she was like, 'Bye. Take care. I love you,'” friend Joanna Delaluz said. “I gave her a hug.”
Hania’s mother cried over her daughter's casket, saying whoever took Hania's life took only her life and not her happiness.
Michael McLellan was charged in the case Saturday morning and faces 10 felonies.
Police said Hania's body was found in a body of water in Robeson County about 10 miles south of the mobile home park where she was kidnapped on Nov. 5 after going outside to start a relative's SUV before school.
- 1st Degree Murder
- 1st Degree Forcible Rape
- Statutory rape of a person under 15 years of age or younger
- 1st Degree sexual offense
- Statutory sex offense with a person 15 years or younger
- 1st degree kidnapping
- Felony Larceny
- Felony Restraint
- Abduction of Child
- Concealment of a Death
He was already in jail for a different attempted kidnapping case.
Fairmont police arrested him for trying to rob a woman and take her car on Oct. 15.
McLellan turned himself in to police on Nov. 13, eight days after Hania was kidnapped.
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