An FBI spokesperson is urging people to stop spreading rumors about a missing 13-year-old girl, who was forced into an SUV by a bandana-masked man.
Hania Noleia Aguilar was in the front yard of her Lumberton, North Carolina home waiting for her family to bring her to school just before 7 a.m. on Nov. 5. She had her aunt's car keys and was on her way to start up the vehicle when witnesses say a kidnapper dressed in black with a yellow bandana over his face forced her into her aunt's SUV and drove off, according to local police.
The FBI has released a statement written by Elsa Hernández pleading for her daughter’s return. She has also made several appearances on television, which have resulted in criticism and rumors from the public, The Fayetteville Observer reports.
“Every time a mother or a family member talks on TV about something like this, the bad side of social media comes out again,” FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch said at a press conference held on Tuesday. “And that is stressful for her — for people to pick apart how she looks and her reaction. It’s heartbreaking.”
Hernandez responded to some of the criticism in a statement.
“Despite all the criticism and speculation against me, I would never use my daughter’s name in order to take advantage of this situation,” Hernández said in her statement, which was translated from Spanish to English. “I ask everyone not to make absurd comments. For the love of God respect my pain. I only want Hania, my princess, back. I miss her.”
The FBI is now offering a $25,000 reward for her return and local police are offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to her whereabouts.
The SUV connected to the teen’s abduction has been found in a wooded area, but there is still no trace of the eighth-grader.
Aguilar is described as 5 feet tall, weighing about 126 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. She was last wearing a blue shirt with flowers, paired with blue jeans.
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