LUMBERTON, N.C. (CBS Local) — The father of a North Carolina teenager who was kidnapped and murdered has been denied a visa to attend her funeral.
Services for Hania Anguilar are set for Saturday in Lumberton. Her father lives in Guatemala and needs a temporary visa to be able to attend.
More than 50,000 people signed an online petition requesting that he be allowed into the U.S. to say his final goodbyes to his 13-year-old daughter, but the father’s attorney, Naimeh Salem, said the visa was denied.
“They said he doesn’t have enough ties to his country for them to issue him a temporary visa to come to Hania’s funeral,” Salem told WSOC.
Salem said she’s still hoping officials will change their minds. But a Robeson County immigration lawyer says it will take more than a petition and more time for that to happen.
“They’re going look at things people don’t realize — such as your income, your bank accounts, your family members — all the things that would say you are going return to your home country if you’re allowed to enter here,” Stacey Maynor told CBS affiliate WCNC. “So, unfortunately, that’s not a fast or easy process and most people are denied when they apply to enter the U.S.”
Police are still trying to track down the person or persons responsible for Hania’s kidnapping and death.
Officials said a man forced Anguilar into a stolen SUV on Nov. 5 while she waited outside her home to go to school.
The vehicle was found three days later on Quincey Road, about 10 minutes from where Hania’s body was found nearly three weeks later.
The FBI and the state of North Carolina is offering a combined reward of $30,000 for information in the case.