Teen’s slaying after leaving mosque not looked at as hate crime
The killing of a 17-year-old Virginia girl who went missing after praying at a local mosque is not being investigated as a hate crime, according to police.
Nabra Hassanen’s body was found in a pond Sunday afternoon, hours after she and a group of friends who had been praying all night at the mosque went for breakfast at an IHOP and were confronted by a man while walking back around 4 a.m.
Fairfax County Police said that Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, was the man in the car, and that he assaulted the teen, who somehow became separated from the rest of her friends.
Nabra, a rising junior at South Lakes High, was reported missing after the group returned to the mosque, which had been holding late night prayers for Ramadan.
Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, has been charged with the murder of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen.
(Fairfax County Police)
Her grieving mother Sawsan Gazzar told the Washington Post that her daughter had been wearing an abaya, a traditional Muslim dress, and speculated that the attack may have been because of her faith.
“Why would you kill a kid? What did my daughter do to deserve this?” she said, adding she had been told that Torres used a metal baseball bat.
An autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.
Nabra was killed after eating a pre-dawn meal at an IHOP.
Though it was not immediately clear why Torres would kill the teen, police confirmed Monday that they are not investigating the death as a hate crime.
Anti-bigotry group Muslim Advocates said in a statement that it urged “both local and federal authorities to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation into all possible motives for this gruesome crime.”
“We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event. It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth” the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center, one of the largest mosques in the country, said in a statement.
With News Wire Services