Police in Fairfax, Virginia, US, found the body of a 17-year-old Muslim girl who was reported missing early Sunday after leaving a mosque with a group of friends.
Authorities believed she was assaulted and murdered after leaving a mosque in the Sterling area in Virginia. Her
body was found on Sunday morning, June 18th, in a pond in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle in Sterling, Virginia.
Shortly after finding the remains, officers arrested
22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres and charged him with murder in
connection to the case.
Mosque officials identified the missing teen as Nabra and
said she and her friends were coming back from eating during a break
from Ramadan prayers when a car pulled up and a man with a baseball bat
jumped out and started swinging at the group of girls.
The teens were walking on Dranesville Road towards the All
Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Virginia, at
around 3:30 a.m. on Sunday
after grabbing breakfast at a nearby town center before beginning their
fast at sunrise for Ramadan, police and mosque officials said.
A motorist confronted the group and they got into an
altercation, Deputy Aleksandra Kowalski, said a spokesperson for the
Loudoun County Sheriff’s office.
While it was evident that the teens were Muslim, police
said detectives have “not gotten any indication that this was motivated
by hate or bias.”
According to accounts from police and mosque officials, all
of the teens except for one fled the scene. Members from the community
found the group and directed them to the ADAMS Center, which immediately
notified officials at around 4 a.m., Rizwan Jaka, a board member at ADAMS, said in a statement.
“They all dispersed after the incident and when they met back up they realized she was missing,” Kowalski said.
“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,” the center’s statement
While searching for Nabra, a police officer saw a car
driving suspiciously near the area and immediately pulled the driver
over. Following this, Torres was taken into custody in connection to the
Police said a baseball bat was also found, as described by the friends of the girl and the mosque officials.
“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.”
“I just can’t think of a worse instance to occur with the
loss of a 17-year-old on Father’s Day. As a father of a 17-year-old
myself, I can’t think of anything worse than confronting that on this
particular day,” Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman said at a news
conference on Sunday evening.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring released a statement Saturday night:
“The ADAMS Center has always welcomed me and so many in
Northern Virginia like family. This unspeakable attack feels like an
assault on our entire community. Words fail at a time like this, so
we’ll all have to do the best we can to surround them with the love and
support they’ve always shown each of us.”