A 22-year-old Virginia man has been charged with murdering a Muslim teenager, police said Sunday. The victim has been identified by Rep. Don Beyer as 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, according to the New York Times.
The Fairfax County Police Department said Darwin A. Martinez Torres was taken into custody as a suspect after officers noticed a vehicle "driving suspiciously" during their search for the victim. Torres, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was arraigned Monday and ordered to be held without bail pending a court appearance on July 19.
Nabra Hassanen was reportedly attacked while walking back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society center from a nearby restaurant "between 3 and 4 a.m." Torres, police said, then exited his vehicle and assaulted the victim. Nabra's mother said investigators told her that her daughter had been hit with a metal bat, the Washington Post reported Monday.
The All Dulles Area Muslim Society released the following statement Sunday night:
On Sunday, June 18th 2017, at approximately 4 a.m., according to Fairfax County Police, a dispute occurred between a group of teens who were walking along Dranesville Road in Sterling and a man driving a car. It appears the man got out of his car and assaulted one of them, a 17-year-old girl. Community members came across the group and directed them to ADAMS Center. Immediately thereafter, the ADAMS’ personnel notified both Loudon County and Fairfax County authorities who immediately began an extensive search to locate the missing girl.
The search continued until around 3 p.m. when the body of a female was found in a pond in Sterling. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to confirm the identity of the body and determine the exact cause and manner of death.
The joint county investigation has led to an individual being taken into custody as a suspect. Charges are pending further investigation. We thank both Fairfax County Police and Loudoun County Sheriff’s departments for their diligent efforts in investigating and apprehending a suspect. We call on law enforcement to investigate and determine the motive of this crime and prosecute to the full extent of the law.
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. ADAMS has licensed counselors on site to assist anyone in need of counseling during these difficult times.
We would also like to thank our community, government officials and interfaith partners for their prayers and support during these tough times.
A woman's body recovered in Sterling, Virginia Sunday afternoon is awaiting identification from local medical examiners. "What investigators told the father and the mother, he hit her in the head and put her in the car and he threw her in the water," Abas Sherif, a spokesperson for Nabra Hassanen's family, said. Police said Monday that the murder was not currently being investigated as a hate crime.
The murder has sparked outrage online, with some criticizing Trump for his silence: