LUMBERTON, NC (WMBF) - Less than 12 hours after the FBI announced an arrest had been made in connection to Hania Aguilar’s kidnapping and presume death, hundreds gathered to say their final goodbyes.
Residents said while the arrest does give some sense of justice and safety, this service was about celebrating Hania’s young life and standing together as a community.
“Since the very first day we met she was always really nice,” said Jasmine Cordie, Hania’s classmate and friend.
From her bright smile, to her loving personality, family, friends and even strangers had nothing but kind words when describing Hania.
“A lot of people here don’t know her but we love her still,” said Shirley Thompson.
Representative, Charles Graham if the 47th District said, “She will be missed but we know she’s in heaven.”
A sea of purple flooded the Lumberton High School gymnasium as those in attendance shared memories and tears.
Lumberton city officials also announced a proclamation to honor Hania on this day each year.
“I Bruce Davis, Mayor of the city of Lumberton in North Carolina here do by proclaim December 8, 2018 as Hania Noelia Aguilar Day,” said Lumberton Mayor, Bruce Davis.
Though unable to attend the funeral service, Hania’s father living in Guatemala wrote a letter to his daughter.
Hania’s mother also took time to thanks everyone for their support and say goodbye to her daughter.
“May God bless all of you where ever you come from, because Hania became part of each one of you,” said Celsa Hernandez.
Hania was laid to rest at Meadowbrook Cemetery in Lumberton.
While its been a very emotional month for many residents, they praise and appreciate all of those who spent weeks seeking justice for Hania.