North Carolina state troopers questioned drivers Tuesday morning along a road near where police said a 13-year-old girl was kidnapped Monday while waiting for a ride to school in Lumberton.
A search for the girl, her abductor and a car he used to get away entered a second day.
A man with a bandana covering his face forced Hania Noelia Aguilar into a green Ford Expedition SUV and drove off a little before 7 a.m. from the Rosewood Mobile Home Park, police say.
State officials issued an Amber Alert for the teen and said the Ford had the South Carolina license tag number NWS-984 and a Clemson sticker in a rear window.
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Authorities described Hania as Hispanic, about 5 feet tall and weighing 126 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. She was wearing a blue shirt with flowers and blue jeans, according to the alert.
Tuesday, troopers stopped drivers on Elizabethtown Road, outside the mobile home park, and showed them a poster with the missing girl’s picture. Some who thought they might have information that could help in the case were asked to pull over and talk with detectives, the FBI said in a news release.
“Witnesses can‘t describe the suspect other than he had a yellow bandana over his face. After grabbing the child, he forced her into the Green Ford Expedition and stole it and drove away,” police said, according to WPDE.
Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said in a news conference Monday that a man dressed in all black with a yellow bandana abducted the girl.
The FBI said Tuesday that it was a neighbor who called 911 at 6:54 a.m. to report the kidnapping after a relative of Hania’s ran to the neighbor to get help.
The caller was speaking Spanish, and dispatchers brought a translator into the call, the FBI said. Lumberton police were notified four minutes later.
McNeill said the car was stolen from the scene and belonged to one of the Aguilar’s relatives.
The “paint on the hood is peeling & there is a Clemson sticker on the rear window,” according to a tweet from FBI Charlotte.
McNeill said the girl was waiting for relatives in the home to take her to school. The 13-year-old is in the eighth grade at Lumberton Junior High School, he added.
“Our main concern right now is to get this young lady back to her family,” the police chief said.
The FBI is helping in the investigation in the North Carolina city along I-95 near the South Carolina border, WMBF reports. McNeill said the State Bureau of Investigation and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Department are helping in the investigation.
The Lumberton police chief asked anyone who sees Aguilar or the vehicle to call his department at 910-671-3845.
Time is of the essence in child abduction cases, according to the FBI. A U.S. Department of Justice report, often cited by the FBI, says that “those missing children who are murdered are killed within a very short period of time.” If a child who was abducted is going to be killed, 74 percent are killed within the first 3 hours of being taken and 91 percent are killed within the first 24 hours.