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Man held without bail in 13-year-old Hania Aguilar's killing

The man charged with killing 13-year-old Hania Aguilar made his first court appearance Monday, the Robeson C...

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 3:01 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2018 3:02 AM

The man charged with killing 13-year-old Hania Aguilar made his first court appearance Monday, the Robeson County, North Carolina district attorney said.

Michael Ray McLellan also appeared on an unrelated 2016 rape case linked to him because of the investigation into Hania's disappearance, District Attorney Luther Johnson Britt said.

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He did not provide much detail on the 2016 charge, except that authorities had McLellan's DNA from a previous case and investigators "got the results that we were looking for on Friday," he said.

The FBI used a sample of McLellan's DNA taken back then in its analysis of evidence from the car in Hania's disappearance, the prosecutor said.

McLellan, 34, is being held on a $5 million bail in that case.

He was denied bail on first-degree murder and other charges related to Hania's killing, which also include first-degree rape, first-degree burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon. He faces a maximum penalty of death on the murder charge.

The public defender's office will assign McLellan an attorney, Britt said.

Hania was kidnapped last month from her driveway in Lumberton, about 95 miles south of Raleigh. Police said the abductor forced her into a relative's idling SUV and drove away.

The eighth grader's body was found last week in water off a rural road in Robeson County, while the SUV was abandoned fewer than 10 miles from the home, authorities said.

By the time police identified McLellan as a suspect, he was already in custody for an attempted kidnapping in October. In that case, he turned himself into police eight days after Hania was kidnapped, CNN affiliate WSOC reported. He was charged with Hania's murder hours before her funeral.

At her Saturday funeral, school officials, classmates and friends celebrated Hania's life with song, poetry and letters. Her interests in music, science, soccer and baking, and she dreamed of becoming an architect, they said.

"When I look at all the outpouring of love and support for Hania every day, I am reminded that her life's journey is really about the people who she has touched," school principal SaVon Maultsby said.

Classmates remembered Hania's perfect attendance in the fourth grade, and her interests in music, science and soccer. She dreamed of becoming an architect and liked to bake cookies and pastries, they said.

Hania's father was not able to attend his daughter's funeral. The US State Department denied a temporary visa for Noé Aguilar to travel from Guatemala to attend services for her, according to the father's attorney, Naimeh Salem.

"I had hoped they would find it in their hearts to let me be there for my daughter's funeral," Aguilar told CNN in a brief phone interview Friday.

State Department spokeswoman Marlo Cross-Durant said details of individual visa cases are confidential.

A letter Aguilar wrote was read the funeral.

"You were and you are my treasure," he said. "Rest in peace, daughter, my gorgeous princess. ... You were gone before me, my gorgeous princess."

While Aguilar said hadn't seen his daughter since 2005, they spoke on the phone and her mother gave him updates and sent photos. Aguilar had lived in United States and moved back to Guatemala when Hania was an infant, Salem said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 66646

Reported Deaths: 1874
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds5599118
DeSoto363230
Harrison249836
Madison241464
Rankin227633
Jackson226942
Jones188558
Forrest177856
Washington164641
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Oktibbeha111838
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Scott99820
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Copiah95028
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Holmes89048
Grenada84321
Yazoo82912
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Lincoln80941
Simpson79530
Leake78625
Monroe77853
Wayne76421
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Tate72028
Marshall6889
Marion65720
Union62716
Winston62016
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Noxubee45311
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Smith40413
Clay39413
Hancock38814
Jasper3879
Tippah36013
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Clarke32625
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Lawrence3197
Yalobusha31310
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Carroll26111
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Kemper23214
Perry2327
Jefferson Davis2316
Amite2306
Webster22812
Wilkinson20513
Sharkey1975
Jefferson1957
Stone1944
Benton1431
Choctaw1334
Franklin1242
Issaquena261
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 94827

Reported Deaths: 1674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson12969243
Mobile9836206
Montgomery6609148
Madison531433
Tuscaloosa419073
Unassigned356061
Baldwin350224
Shelby326035
Marshall313035
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DeKalb179813
Calhoun176113
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St. Clair132817
Dallas131823
Limestone131813
Franklin127020
Cullman122012
Colbert117113
Lauderdale115717
Autauga108621
Escambia107516
Talladega100913
Jackson9684
Tallapoosa85479
Chambers84038
Dale82723
Blount7884
Chilton7886
Butler75836
Coffee7566
Covington73420
Pike7037
Clarke6629
Barbour5735
Lowndes57124
Marion57024
Marengo55315
Hale47326
Bullock46311
Winston45011
Perry4404
Bibb4265
Wilcox42610
Monroe4194
Randolph39610
Pickens3929
Conecuh38810
Washington38612
Sumter36018
Lawrence3481
Macon33414
Crenshaw3143
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