A Guatemalan man has reportedly been denied a temporary visa to attend the funeral of his 13-year-old daughter, who was kidnapped and murdered in North Carolina earlier this year.
An online petition that surfaced last week requesting officials allow Hania Aguilar’s father be allowed to come to America to attend the funeral has gathered more than 50,000 signatures.
However, Naimeh Salem, an attorney representing Hania’s father, told WSOC-TV in a report published on Wednesday that his request for a temporary visa was denied because "he doesn't have enough ties to the country."
Salem told the outlet he is still hoping for officials to change their minds, however.
Hania Aguilar was reportedly kidnapped outside of her home in Lumberton in early November. Authorities have said Hania was forced into a stolen SUV on Nov. 5 while she was waiting outside her home to go to school, according to CBS News.
The stolen vehicle was reportedly found several days after Hania’s kidnapping on a road about ten minutes from where a body preliminarily identified as hers was found weeks later.
The FBI is still awaiting official confirmation via dental records and is still in the process of tracking down the people responsible for her abduction and death.
A funeral for Hania Aguilar is scheduled to take place on Saturday.