Police in the U.S. state of Virginia found the remains of a missing Muslim teenager who was assaulted and disappeared overnight after leaving a mosque with her friends in the Sterling area, a statement said on Sunday.
ADAMS is the acronym for the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, the mosque that Hassanen had worshipped at in suburban Washington, D.C., in the pre-dawn hours Sunday before heading to a restaurant with friends for breakfast.
An aunt who was at the court but declined to give her name said Martinez Torres's family is shocked and mystified about the charges against him.
Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment CEO Rana Abdelhamid said by telephone that her group is partnering with groups in cities around the nation to hold vigils Tuesday for 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen and stand in solidarity with her family.
Some of the teenagers were in the road and Martinez allegedly began arguing with the boy on a bicycle as he was driving in his vehicle, Parker told a news conference. Torres was able to grab Hassanen and began beating her to death with the bat, police said.
Female remains were found in a pond around 3 p.m.in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle in Sterling, Virginia. An autopsy revealed she died of blunt force trauma to the upper body, Parker said.
Although police said there was no indication religious hatred was the motive for the crime, Mahmoud Hassanen wondered why the children, wearing traditional Muslim attire, were targeted. "It appears the suspect became so enraged over this traffic encounter that it escalated into deadly violence". Authorities said they looked into whether the murder was a hate crime but said they found no evidence it was.
Torres hit Hassanen with the bat and took her with him in his vehicle to another nearby location, where he assaulted her another time, Parker said.
Police arrested Martinez about 90 minutes after the assault and a judge ordered that he remain jailed without bail, officials said.
Some of the teenagers were in the road and Martinez began arguing with the boy on a bicycle as he was driving in his vehicle, Parker said. Relatives and ADAMS members have identified the victim as 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen and are mourning the loss of this innocent teen during the last 10 days of Ramadan. "What the investigators told the father and the mother, he hit her in the head and then he put her in the vehicle, and then he threw her in the water", Sherif said. "It's too hard. I raised my daughter for 17 years".
Meanwhile, immigration authorities put a detainer on him, saying there's probable cause to believe he lacks permission to be in the U.S.
Police announced earlier in the day that they were not investigating the slaying as a hate crime, which provoked deep skepticism among some American Muslims. "I'm so anxious about sending my kids out and their coming back as bodies". He was appointed a public defender, according to the publication, but it is unclear whether he has entered a plea.
Durkin Richer and Rankin reported from Richmond, Virginia; Associated Press reporter Matt Barakat contributed from Fairfax, Virginia.