Funeral expected Wednesday for Muslim teenager murdered in Virginia
iStock/Thinkstock(FAIRFAX, Va.) — A funeral is set for Wednesday for a 17-year-old Muslim girl from Virginia who police say was murdered this past weekend.
Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, is in custody 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 was the alleged motive behind the murder, police said.
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.
The teen’s funeral is set to take place Wednesday afternoon at the teenager’s former mosque, All Dulles Area Muslim Society, in Sterling, Virginia, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said.
In Washington, D.C., hundreds of people attended a vigil Tuesday evening, according to ABC affiliate WJLA-TV.
While the Fairfax County Police Department said Monday there is nothing to indicate this was a hate crime, explaining that “it appears the suspect became so enraged over the traffic dispute it escalated into deadly violence,” WJLA reported that a speaker at the D.C. vigil on Tuesday said, “We’re not going to let Fairfax County police tell us that this was just a case of road rage.”
The police’s statement on Monday added, “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.”
Martinez Torres is held without bond, according to police.
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