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Autopsy: Kidnapped N.C. teen Hania Aguilar likely died of asphyxia

By Daniel Uria
Autopsy: Kidnapped N.C. teen Hania Aguilar likely died of asphyxia
An autopsy for kidnapped North Carolina 13-year-old Hania Aguilar found she died of "homicidal violence of undetermined means" likely by some form of asphyxia. Photo courtesy FBI

Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A kidnapped 13-year-old North Carolina girl whose body was found in November was likely killed by strangling or suffocating, according to an autopsy released Wednesday.

The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released an autopsy for Hania Aguilar, listing the death as "homicidal violence of undetermined means" likely by some form of asphyxia, the Raleigh News and Observer reported.

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"Based on the autopsy findings and circumstances surrounding the death the cause of death is listed as homicidal violence of undetermined means. The manner of death is classified as homicide," the report stated.

An examination also showed signs of sexual assault.

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The autopsy stated that Hania's body was found in a pit filled with about 4 and one-half feet of water with a plastic folding table on her back, The Fayetteville Observer reported.

Hania was abducted on Nov. 5, by a man dressed in black and wearing a yellow bandana while she was standing outside her family's home in the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton.

Her body was found about three weeks later off a road in Robeson County after investigators checked the area based on leads.

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In December, police arrested 34-year-old Michael Ray McLellan and charged him with 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 and concealment of a death.

McLellan is set to appear in court for a preliminary hearing and potential probable cause hearing on April 2.

Two Robeson County, N.C., deputies were suspended after an internal investigation into how the department handled a separate 2016 rape case allegedly committed by McClellan.

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