Father of slain North Carolina teen denied temporary visa into US for funeral


The father of a North Carolina teenager who was kidnapped and killed has been denied a visa to attend her funeral.

>> Watch the news report here

Services for Hania Aguilar are set for Saturday in Lumberton.

Hania’s father lives in Guatemala and needs a special visa to attend.

>> On WSOCTV.com: 'We are absolutely devastated': Mourners begin 9 nights of vigils for Lumberton teen

About 10,000 people signed a petition, and Gov. Roy Cooper even got involved.

Naimeh Salem, the father’s attorney, told WSOC-TV that the visa was denied.

“They said he doesn’t have enough ties to the country to issue him a temporary visa to go to Hania's funeral,” Salem said.

>> On WSOCTV.com: FBI: Search continues for kidnapped North Carolina teen

Salem said they are still holding out hope that U.S. officials will have a change of heart.

Hania was taken from her home in early November.

Last week, her body was found in the water about 10 miles away.

Detectives are still searching for evidence that leads them to her killer.

The petition to the Guatemalan Embassy was circulating online to get him a non-immigrant visa.

>> Read more trending news 

"They want to see that you have no intent to remain here in the U.S. if you enter on a non-immigrant visa, so they're gonna look at things people don't realize, like your income, your bank accounts, your family members, all the things that would say you are going to return to your home country,” immigration attorney Stacey Maynor said.

Timeline:

  • Nov. 5: A man wearing all black and a yellow bandanna kidnapped Hania Aguilar from her front yard on Elizabethtown Road, forcing her into the family's SUV. Authorities issued an Amber Alert.
  • Nov. 7: The FBI released surveillance video of the stolen SUV seen in Lumberton moments after the girl’s kidnapping.
  • Nov. 8: Authorities found the stolen SUV not far from the kidnapping scene, but there was no sign of Hania.
  • Nov. 27: FBI and police find human remains off Wire Grass Road. 
  • Nov. 28: Preliminary test results from the medical examiner indicate body found was that of Hania.

Maynor said Hania's father would need the special visa and a green card, and the process to get one of those visas could take weeks.

“Even with enough support and contacting the right people to push it through, it is very unlikely that it's gonna happen in time for him to be here for the actual funeral,” Maynor said.

There is still a $30,000 reward for information that leads investigators to the person who killed the 13-year-old.


Reader Comments


Next Up in Nation & World

Del Monte recalling more than 64,000 cases of Fiesta Corn in 25 states
Del Monte recalling more than 64,000 cases of Fiesta Corn in 25 states

Del Monte Foods is recalling thousands of cases of Fiesta Corn due to underprocessing concerns, the Food and Drug Administration said in a press release. >> Read more trending news  Some 64,242 cases of Fiesta Corn Seasoned with Red and Green Peppers are under recall as a precaution because underprocessing can lead to contamination, the...
Disney World worker fired after stealing thousands, deputies say
Disney World worker fired after stealing thousands, deputies say

A Walt Disney World hotel worker was arrested Monday after stealing almost $49,000 in 2016, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said. >> Read more trending news  Between April 2016 and December 2016, Jamaica Hall, 31, of Kissimmee, issued fraudulent credit card refunds to hotel guests, which he transferred to his checking account, investigators...
3 people trapped in West Virginia coal mine found alive 
3 people trapped in West Virginia coal mine found alive 

Three missing people have been found alive in an abandoned coal mine in West Virginia, according to numerous media reports. >> Read more trending news  Erica Treadway, 31, Kayla Williams and Cody Beverly, 21, went missing four days ago after entering the Rock House Powellton Mine in Raleigh County, WHSV-TV reported.  A fourth person...
WATCH: Killer whales surround woman, swim with her off coast of New Zealand
WATCH: Killer whales surround woman, swim with her off coast of New Zealand

Drone video captured an unusual incident off the coast of New Zealand on Monday.  >> Read more trending news  A group of three killer whales seemed to make a lone female swimmer part of their pod, swimming with her in the waters off Coromondel at Hahei Beach, New Zealand’s 1 News reported.  The video shows the orcas playfully...
Mars lander sends back first selfie from Red Planet
Mars lander sends back first selfie from Red Planet

NASA’s Mars InSight lander snapped its first selfie and sent it back to Earth. >> Read more trending news   The photo shows the first complete look at the lander’s workspace in an area on the Red Planet known as Elysium Planitia, where the probe successfully landed on Nov. 26. The picture shows InSight’s solar panels...
More Stories