A day after a body was discovered in North Carolina, preliminary tests revealed that the remains belong to Hania Aguilar, a teen girl who has been missing for weeks, officials said Wednesday.
“Today, the state medical examiner official said preliminary tests indicate the body that they found is Hania’s,” Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said. “But final confirmation will be done using a dental records comparison.”
Authorities made the announcement at a news conference, which was posted to the Lumberton Police Department’s Facebook page.
"This is the outcome that we all feared," he said. "We did not want to hear this. We wanted to bring Hania back home and bring her back home alive to our community. It hurts."
Investigators have said that on the morning of Nov. 5, a man dressed in black clothing pushed Aguilar into a family member's SUV and drove from the scene. A witness said they heard her scream during the altercation.
Days later, on Nov. 8, the green Ford Expedition in question was discovered after someone said they found it backed into a wooded area.
The FBI’s Charlotte office on Tuesday announced via Twitter that the agency and Lumberton police had discovered a body in Robeson County around 4:45 p.m. local time.
“The body has not been positively identified, but agents were following leads related to the search for 13-year-old Hania Aguilar,” the FBI’s tweet said. “Please continue to pray for Hania, her family, & each other.”
The body was located in a body of water, McNeill said Wednesday.
Authorities vowed to continue their investigation and said their work “will not stop” until whoever is behind the teen’s disappearance is brought “to justice.” Investigators said they don't currently have a suspect or person of interest.
Fox News’ Nicole Darrah and The Associated Press contributed to this report.