The murder of a Virginia Muslim teen will not be investigated as a hate crime, investigators announced to the dismay of the victim’s relatives Monday (June 19). According to reports, 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen’s remains were found Sunday afternoon, and shortly after police arrested 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres who they believe is responsible for Hassanen’s death.
According to police, a group of about five teens we were walking back from Ihop during the predawn hours when they got into an argument with a motorist. The group had recently left an all-night prayer service during Ramadan at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society. According to The New York Times, Torres got out of the vehicle and assaulted Hassanen, which is when the rest of the group ran back to the mosque. Upon arrival, ADAMS officials called the police.
“Immediately thereafter, the ADAMS’ personnel notified both Loudoun County and Fairfax County authorities who immediately began an extensive search to locate the missing girl,” mosque officials said in a statement.
Loudoun and Fairfax authorities conducted a search and 11 hours later Hassanen’s remains were found in a nearby pond. It was during the search that another cop noticed Torres driving suspiciously, and arrested him. While the medical examiner hasn’t confirmed the manner of death, Hassanen’s mother said investigators told her, her daughter was struck with a metal bat.
While family and relatives grieve, Hassanen’s mother said she still can’t wrap her mind around why someone would kill her teenage daughter.
“I’m sure the guy hit my daughter because she’s Muslim and she was wearing the hijab,” she said. “The thing in my head is, why did he do that to us? We’re not bad people. He doesn’t know us. Why did he ever do that? I don’t feel safe at all anymore, as a Muslim living here now. I’m so worried about sending my kids out and their coming back as bodies.”