Robeson Co. detective fired after investigation into DNA related to Hania case

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LUMBERTON, NC (WTVD) — A Robeson County Sheriff’s Office investigator has been fired following an internal investigation into overlooked DNA in the Hania Aguilar case.

In a news release, Sheriff Burnis Wilkins Jr. said Investigator Darryl McPhatter was terminated on Thursday after being previously suspended in connection with the investigation.

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Major Anthony Thompson, who was also suspended, resigned on Jan. 9.

He served in a law enforcement capacity for more than 34 years of his life.

The news release did not say the investigator was fired in relation to the Aguilar case, however, Sheriff Wilkins confirmed to ABC11 that he was being investigated in connection to her case.

“It angers me and I’ve got to deal with it,” Wilkins said. “To know that that happened, to know the reports didn’t follow the proper channels, that further investigation wasn’t done, interviews weren’t done properly — I have a major issue with that.”



Aguilar, 13, was kidnapped from outside her home Nov. 5 as she waited to go to school. Twenty-two days later, she was found dead in Robeson County.

Read more here.