On Sunday, the remains of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen were found in a pond in Sterling, VA after an hours-long search by authorities in surrounding counties.
In the early hours of June 18, Hassanen and a few friends walked to a nearby IHOP for breakfast after leaving a mosque in Virginia. During the last 10 days of Ramadan, the mosque has extra prayers at midnight and 2 am. It is not uncommon for members to go to the nearby Mc Donalds or IHOP afterward to eat before beginning their fast at sunrise. On the way back from the restaurant, the teens were confronted by a motorist in the area. An argument ensued, prompting a man to get out of his car and assault the high schooler with a metal bat. The teen and her friends somehow became separated. Unable to find Hassanen afterward, her friends went back to the mosque to report what had happened.
During the search for Nabra, police stopped and arrested a man, identified as 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, who had been “driving suspiciously in the area.” He was charged with the teen’s death Sunday afternoon after Hassanen’s body was foundin a pond in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle in Sterling. Police say they also collected several articles of evidence but did not specify in further detail.
Though officials have yet to confirm the identity of the remains, detectives believe the body belongs to Nabra. As the increase in anti-Muslim related incidents continues, Reuters reports that many have linked the rise in bias incidents to Trump’s focus on militant Islamist groups and anti-immigration rhetoric. Officials have not ruled out hate as a motive in this incident.