Muslim teen murdered after leaving mosque in US
Police have found what are thought to be the remains of a young Muslim woman who was abducted overnight after leaving a mosque in the US state of Virginia.
The remains found in a pond are believed to be that of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who left a mosque in the early hours of Sunday morning to get food with friends when a man in a vehicle approached them. Hassanen was assaulted when the man got out of his car, and her friends called police at around 4:00am to report that their friend had gone missing.
After an extensive search the remains were found by police at 3:00pm on Sunday. 22-year-old Darwin Matrtinez Torres has been arrested and charged with murder in relation to the case, Fairfax County Police say.
They say that the group got into a dispute with the man in the car, and police did not believe at this stage that it was a hate crime.
An autopsy is yet to be conducted to confirm the identity of the remains and the exact cause of death, however police say they believe they are of the missing teen.
A statement has been released by the mosque Hassanen had left, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, saying that the community is "devastated and heartbroken".
"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 3:00pm 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 mosque is providing counsellors for anyone who is in need of support in the community.
Crowdfunding pages have been launched for Hassanen's family since the news broke, and nearly $70,000 ($50,000 USD) has been raised.