A 34-year-old man has been detained in relation with the abduction and death of a teenage girl in North Carolina last month that led to a three-week search for her.
The suspect, recognized as Michael Ray McClellan, was already in jail on an unrelated charge when he was charged in the rape, murder and kidnapping of Hania Aguilar, FOX 46 of Charlotte reported in a Twitter message early Saturday.
It was not instantly certain what charges McClellan will face or how he came across the 13-year-old.
#BREAKING 34 yr old Michael Ray McClellan arrested and charged with the rape, murder and kidnapping of 13 year Hania Aguilar. He was already in jail on an unrelated kidnapping case. The latest on @FOX46News pic.twitter.com/6XqbyrIWD5
— Howard Monroe (@HMonroeFox46) December 8, 2018
Hania Aguilar was waiting outside her Lumberton mobile home park on Nov. 5 when she was abducted. After a three-week search, her body was found off a rural road, seven miles away, the Charlotte Observer reported.
Meantime, the dead girl’s family was battling with a different matter: Her father, Noe Aguilar, was refused a visa so he could travel from Guatemala, where he lives, to attend her funeral in North Carolina on Saturday, his lawyer said.
Noe Aguilar journeyed to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala on Monday to ask for an quickened visa to enter the U.S. for the funeral, but U.S. officials decided he lacked strong ties to his home country and refused him on the spot, his attorney Naimeh Salem told the New York Times.
Salem, an immigration lawyer based in Texas, said, “To tell you the truth, with past administrations, we never had a problem like this. With this administration, most everything that is discretionary is getting denied,” referring to the Trump administration’s policy on entry to the U.S.
A petition on Change.org demanding that the father be permitted to enter the country recieved over 57,000 signatures as of early Saturday.
The petition states “No parent should be denied the right to attend their child’s funeral — especially when Hania was a Citizen-born in Tennessee,”.
According to the Times, Guatemalan residents must get a special visa to enter the U.S. Noe Aguilar lived in the U.S. when his daughter was an infant but moved back to Guatemala in 2005.
He said, in his visa application he owned a business and had no intention of overstaying.
Salem said “He has no negative immigration history, “No deportation. He has never attempted to come back to the U.S. He has no desire to come to the U.S. He wanted to kiss his daughter goodbye.”