ICE seeks custody of El Salvador man accused of murdering Muslim teenager
iStock/Thinkstock(FAIRFAX, Va.) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is seeking custody of the El Salvador man who is accused of murdering a 17-year-old Muslim girl near a Virginia mosque this weekend, officials said.
Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, has been detained for the murder of Nabra Hassanen of Reston, Virginia, after he allegedly “became so enraged” that he hit her with a baseball bat, the Fairfax County Police Department said Monday. Road rage, and not a hate crime, was the alleged motive behind the murder, police said.
On Monday ICE lodged a detainer on Martinez Torres, ICE spokesperson Carissa Cutrell said.
“ICE lodges detainers on aliens who have been arrested on local criminal charges when the agency has probable cause to believe an alien is removable from the United States,” she said.
He has no prior encounters with ICE, Cutrell added.
Police said the incident occurred at about 3:40 a.m. Sunday, when a group of teenagers was heading to an overnight event at a mosque.
Police believe one teen on a bike began arguing with Martinez Torres as he approached the group in his car.
The suspect “then drove his car onto the curb as the group scattered,” the police said. “Witnesses say [Martinez] Torres caught up with them a short time later in a nearby parking lot and got out of his car armed with a baseball bat and began chasing the group. [Martinez] Torres was able to catch Nabra [Hassanen]. His anger over the encounter led to violence when he hit Nabra [Hassanen] with a baseball bat.”
Police said Martinez Torres took Hassanen in his car to Loudoun County, Virginia, and the teenager’s body was found in a pond in Loudoun County later that evening. According to her autopsy, Hassanen suffered from blunt force trauma to the upper body, police said.
“There is nothing to indicate at this point this tragic case was a hate crime. No evidence has been uncovered that shows this murder was motivated by race or religion,” the police said in a statement Monday. “It appears the suspect became so enraged over the traffic dispute it escalated into deadly violence. If during the course of this ongoing criminal investigation, information or evidence later surfaces that would indicate this was hate-motivated, detectives would certainly ensure appropriate charges are filed.”
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