- Hania Aguilar, 13, was kidnapped outside of a relative’s home in Lumberton, North Carolina, and murdered.
- Her father, Noé Aguilar, lives in Guatemala.
- He was denied a temporary visa to enter the US to attend her funeral on Saturday.
- North Carolina government officials are attempting to appeal the Department of State’s decision.
- Hania was kidnapped on November 5 and her body was found three weeks later.
The father of a 13-year-old girl has been denied a visa to enter the US to attend her funeral.
On November 5, 13-year-old Hania Aguilar was kidnapped outside of a relative’s home in Lumberton, North Carolina, according to the Associated Press. Three weeks later, her body was found in a lake in Robeson County, about 10 miles south of the mobile home park where she was kidnapped.
Hania’s funeral will be on Saturday, but her father, Noé Aguilar, won’t be there. The Department of State has denied Noé a temporary visa, The New York Times reports.
On Monday, Noé visited the United States Embassy in Guatemala City to ask for an expedited visa. His request was rejected, as officials felt that Noé did not have strong ties to Guatemala and would not return after the funeral.
“To tell you the truth, with past administrations, we never had a problem like this,” his lawyer, Naimeh Saleh told The Times. “With this administration, most everything that is discretionary is getting denied.”
North Carolina government officials, including Gov. Roy Cooper, are attempting to appeal the Department of State’s decision so that Noé can attend his daughter’s funeral.
Speaking to The Times, Salem said Noé, who lived in the US when Hania was a baby before moving to Guatemala in 2005, intends to return to Guatemala after the funeral.
“He has no desire to come to the US,” Salem said. “He wanted to kiss his daughter goodbye.”
According to the FBI’s website, Hania’s kidnapping and murder remain unsolved at this time. The FBI and the state of North Carolina are offering a reward of up to $30,000 for information related to the case, per ABC News.
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