Hania Aguilar’s cause of death undetermined after autopsy but likely asphyxia

Hania Aguilar’s cause of death undetermined after autopsy but likely asphyxia
This photo was taken on Sunday, Nov. 4, just one day before 13-year-old Hania Aguilar was kidnapped.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - An autopsy report says the cause of death for Hania Aguilar is undetermined but was likely asphyxia.

Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of North Carolina released the autopsy on the girl who police said was kidnapped from her front yard in Lumberton on Nov. 5.

On Nov. 27, Aguilar's body was found facedown and naked in a water-filled pit with a plastic folding table and tire were on her back, the report says. The pit measured 4.5-feet deep.

Her body was retrieved by a dive team, according to a report of investigation.

While Aguilar's body showed "minimal evidence of trauma," the autopsy says blood was swabbed from her genitals as part of a sexual assault kit.

Due to the level of decomposition, the autopsy says a specific mechanism of death could not be determined.

However, she likely died by a form of asphyxia but the evidence of that may have not been found due to the level of decomposition.

The autopsy states her death will be classified as a homicide due to the circumstances leading up to her killing.

On Dec. 8, the FBI announced Michael Ray McLellan was charged in Aguilar's kidnapping and death.

McLellan faces 10 felony charges in connection with Hania's kidnapping and death:

  • First-degree murder
  • First-degree forcible rape
  • Statutory rape of a person under 15 years of age or younger
  • First-degree sexual offense
  • Statutory sex offense with a person 15 years or younger
  • First-degree kidnapping
  • Felony larceny
  • Felony restraint
  • Abduction of child
  • Concealment of a death

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