Arrest made in kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Hania Noelia Aguilar

EMBED </>More Videos

Man charged with murdering 13-year-old Hania Aguilar

The FBI and Lumberton police have made an arrest in the kidnapping and murder of 13-year-old Hania Noelia Aguilar.


Michael Ray McLellan, 34, is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree forcible rape, statutory rape of a person under 15 years of age or younger, first-degree sexual offense, statutory sex offense with a person 15 years or younger, first-degree kidnapping, felony larceny, felony restraint, abduction of child and concealment of a death.

McLellan had already been in custody since Nov. 13, when he was arrested on charges stemming from a separate case.

According to the arrest warrant, McLellan was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, second-degree kidnapping and attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon stemming from an incident on Oct. 15 in which he allegedly pointed a gun at a woman and attempted to steal her car and money.

The arrest warrants states that McLellan had already been convicted of a felony in 2007 after he committed a burglary while armed with a gun.

Since mid-November, McLellan had been housed at the Robeson County Detention Center. However, according to Fairmont Police Chief Jon Edwards, he was recently moved to the Central Prison in Raleigh due to misconduct.

Michael Ray McLellan



Aguilar was kidnapped from her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton on Nov. 5. Police say McLellan forced Hania into an SUV while she was warming up her family's car to go to school.

Two days after she went missing, the FBI released surveillance video of the stolen SUV seen in Lumberton moments after her kidnapping.

EMBED More News Videos

Surveillance video released of SUV involved in Lumberton 13-year-old's abduction


The following day, the SUV was located but Hania wasn't in it.

A body was discovered on Nov. 27 in Robeson County in a place not visible from the road.



The next day, the FBI announced it believed the body was that of 13-year-old Aguilar.

Results of tests from the FBI's lab at Quantico on the stolen SUV recovered and preliminary results from the North Carolina State Crime Lab on Hania's body resulted in the charges, the FBI Charlotte said in a news release. At this time, autopsy and toxicology reports are not complete.

After the body was found, unconfirmed reports that McLellan had been arrested and even confessed in the case began circulating on social media. However, in a news conference on Nov. 28, Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeil said, "we will not stop until we find the person or persons responsible and we bring them to justice."

Watch that full news conference here:
EMBED More News Videos



"We have to find out how she died, who did this to her and we have to bring the person or persons responsible to justice," FBI Supervisory Resident Agent Andy de la Rocha said at the same news conference. "Please call us if you have information to help. Don't post rumors on social media. Don't share your speculation about this case."

"By putting things out there that are blatantly false and that are not released by the Lumberton Police Department, the FBI, the SBI, the Robeson County Sheriff's Office, the North Carolina Highway Patrol are false, they're misleading, they're simply inaccurate," de la Rocha said.

He said there was "no person of interest at this time."

The following day, the FBI reiterated in a news release that no arrests had been made.

FBI spokesperson Shelley Lynch told ABC11 on Saturday that, at the time of the news conference and the subsequent press release, no arrests had been made.

She said the arrest related to Hania's case was made Friday evening and added that there still has not been a confession made in the case.
McLellan is being held on no bond.

Hania's funeral was held Saturday afternoon at Lumberton High School.

Related Topics:
Hania Aguilarmurderkidnappingarrest
(Copyright ©2018 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.)