My heart is BROKEN. Beautiful 17 year old Nabra beaten to death in Virginia and body found in a pond. I can't take this anymore. 😞💔 pic.twitter.com/gw4bi7LVJM— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) June 18, 2017
Virginia police found remains of a Muslim teenager who went missing after she walked back from an IHOP restaurant to her mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), on Sunday night.
According to police and mosque officials, Nabra Hussein was walking back after grabbing breakfast at IHOP before beginning her fast at sunrise for Ramadan. As she headed home with friends, a motorist in a red car with a baseball bat started shouting insults at them. Hussein’s friends ran to the mosque for safety but soon realized that their friend was missing.
“Immediately thereafter, the ADAMS’ personnel notified both Loudoun County and Fairfax County authorities, who immediately began an extensive search to locate the missing girl,” the mosque said in a statement.
"They all dispersed after the incident and when they met back up they realized she was missing," said Deputy Aleksandra Kowalski, a spokesperson for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s office.
After hours of searching, the police found Hussein’s remains in a pond near Ridgetop Circle in Sterling, Virginia. "Our detectives are fairly certain that it is her," Tawny Wright, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Police Department said. "But the chief medical examiner still needs to conduct an autopsy to confirm the identity."
A 22-year-old, identified as Darwin Martinez Torres, was arrested and charged with murder. The suspect was seen driving suspiciously in the area as police were searching for the teen. Police said they arrested Torres after a search.
UPDATE: Suspect in Herndon missing teen investigation taken to jail. Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, has been charged with murder. pic.twitter.com/JGBxXmdqUf— Fairfax Co. Police (@fairfaxpolice) June 18, 2017
A baseball bat was also recovered from the area. "We have recovered articles of evidence from the area where we believe she was assaulted," Wright explained. "We will try and release information about the weapon used as we process it."
“I can’t think of a worse instance to occur than the loss of a 17-year-old on Father’s Day, as the father of a 17-year-old myself,” Loudoun County Sheriff Michael L. Chapman said.
Hussein’s ruthless murder adds to the series of Islamophobic incidents that have been on the rise in President Donald Trump’s America. The Muslim community is shattered with this tragedy in the midst of celebrating the religious holy month of Ramadan.
“We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event,” Rizwan Jaka, chairman of ADAMS, said in a statement. “It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth.”
Earlier during Ramadan, three men were fatally stabbed on a commuter train in Portland, Oregon, after they tried to stop a racist man from hurling abuse at two young women; one of them was a Muslim.
People have expressed dismay over Hussein’s death.
Devastating news about #NabraHussein, 17, beaten to death on her way to Masjid in VA. This world— Ferrari Sheppard (@stopbeingfamous) June 19, 2017
#NabraHussein should be alive right now. Islamophobia has real consequences. May there be justice and peace for her family.— Tina McKim (@sticksandwheels) June 19, 2017
My heart goes out to Nabra Hussein. A young girl who lost her life due to a wave of irrational hatred and fearmongerjng in America #RIP— Andrew Johnson (@AndrewMystic56) June 19, 2017
If you could look at that face and somehow hurt her you are not a human being. https://t.co/blH0o7x2q1— Thomas Moore (@TomAandTom1) June 19, 2017
An earlier version of this story named Narba’s last name as Hussein, her updated last name is Hassanen.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters