National News

Mother of kidnapped NC teen pleads for her safe return: ‘I am suffering for her’

Mother of kidnapped NC teen pleads for her safe return: 'I am suffering for her'WTVD(LUMBERTON, N.C.) -- The mother of a teen who was kidnapped in front of her home earlier this week said she is "suffering for her" and is pleading for the girl's safe return.

Elsa Hernandez, the mother of 13-year-old Hania Noelia Aguilar, said she has faith her daughter is OK, and just wants to see her back at their home in Lumberton, North Carolina.

"Return her to me because I miss her," Hernandez told Durham ABC affiliate WTVD, in Spanish. "She's a good, sweet girl."

Hania had gone outside Monday morning so she could warm up the family's Ford Expedition before school when a witness saw a man -- dressed in all black with a yellow bandanna over his face -- approach the girl and force her into the SUV, police said.

The vehicle was recovered Thursday morning, police said, but there was no trace of Noelia Aguilar or her captor. Authorities said someone called 911 after seeing the vehicle, still in Lumberton, parked in the woods.

"I need her," Hernandez told WTVD. "I am suffering for her. Her sisters are too."

The FBI, which is investigating the case, released surveillance video on Thursday showing a man wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and hoodie walking toward the trailer park where the family lives. He was the only man seen in the area on Monday morning, but he is not considered a suspect at this time.

"This is the only person that, at this time, we are actually able to identify via CCTV footage, and he may have information for us," FBI Supervisor Andy de la Rocha said.

The family plans to hold a vigil for Hania's safe return on Friday night at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Red Springs.

Rev. Giovanni Romero, of St. Andrew Catholic Church in Red Springs, said they’re having a vigil there Friday at 7pm to pray for Hania’s safe return. Hania and her family are parishioners there. Here’s what he said in Spanish. #ABC11

— Gloria Rodriguez (@GloriaABC11) November 8, 2018

Investigators are also going "door-to-door" to talk to anyone who lives nearby, Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said in Thursday's press conference.

"We urgently need the public's help," McNeill said. "We need them more now than ever to find Hania and bring her back."

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Pair of Southern California wildfires growing in intensity, forcing evacuations

Pair of Southern California wildfires growing in intensity, forcing evacuationsVentura County Fire Department(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.) -- A pair of rapidly intensifying wildfires in Ventura County, California, are forcing thousands of evacuations and already burning structures.

The Woolsey Fire, the blaze currently causing the most concern for firefighters, was up to 7,500 acres around 1:30 a.m. local time, according to the Ventura County Fire Department. The department said 30,000 people had been evacuated in the area and as many as 30,000 homes were threatened. The fire was zero percent contained.

Ventura County Fire Department clarified on Twitter that Los Robles Hospital was not being evacuated.

A specific number of buildings destroyed was unclear, but Ventura County Fire Department said "multiple structures" were now burned to the ground.

There were no reports of fatalities or severe injuries.

Over 400 personnel were working on the fire early Friday morning.

The challenging fire conditions are expected to continue Friday in Southern California where wind alerts and red flag warnings have been issued and wind gusts could reach 70 mph and relative humidity could be as low as 2 percent.

The Woolsey Fire was burning northeast of Thousand Oaks, not far from where a shooting killed 12 people late Wednesday night.

The Los Angeles Police Department also issued a citywide tactical alert for the fire, allowing its units to assist in handling the fire.

The LAPD is now on a city-wide Tactical Alert to ensure any/all resources are available to assist w/ any evacuation orders & road closures regarding the #WoolseyFire. If you’re in an effected area & have been ordered to evacuate, evacuate. Refer to @LAFD for up-to-date info.

— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) November 9, 2018

In addition to the Woolsey Fire, the Hill Fire was burning northwest of Thousand Oaks in the Santa Rosa Valley. The fire grew to 10,000 acres on Thursday, and forced the mandatory evacuations of several areas.

The Point Mugu Naval Base was evacuated, as well as the towns of Camarillo Springs and Dos Vientos.

"As a precaution and to facilitate a safe and orderly response to the Hill Canyon Fire, the NBVC Commanding Officer has issued a MANDATORY EVACUATION order for NBVC Point Mugu," the base sent out in a press release.

While the two fires raged in Southern California, the Camp Fire in Northern California laid waste to the city of Paradise overnight. Tens of thousands had fled the city, just east of Chico, where officials said thousands of buildings had been burnt to the ground.

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