A Muslim girl died Sunday in Virginia after what appears to be a road rage incident, police investigators said Monday.
Nabra Hassanen, 17, of Reston, Virginia, was found dead in a pond near Washington, D.C., at about 3 p.m. Sunday, after she and a group of teenagers walked back from breakfast and got into a dispute with a motorist. Relatives later identified Hassanen, the Washington Post reported.
The Fairfax County Police Department said Monday it was not investigating the murder as a hate crime.
Police are charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, of Sterling, Virginia, with murder. He is currently held without bond.
Several teenagers, including Hassanen, were walking from an IHOP restaurant when a man in a car confronted them, according to police. The teens ran to the nearby All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque, but Hassanen was separated from the group.
Police reports indicate the motorist got out of his car and assaulted Hassanen. A bat was later discovered near the scene.
Police began looking for Hassanen around 4 a.m. Sunday, after the teens arrived at the mosque without Hassanen.
Officers noticed a suspicious car in the area during the search and arrested Torres.
The chief medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to confirm the victim’s identity and determine cause of death, according to Fairfax police spokeswoman Tawny Wright.
The event comes less than a month after two men were killed when they stepped in to defend two women against a man who was screaming anti-Muslim insults.
The murder of Hassanen also comes during Ramadan, a Muslim holy month of fasting and praying, and on Father’s Day weekend.
“I just can’t think of a worse instance to occur with the loss of a 17-year-old on Father’s Day,” Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman, said at a news conference, the Washington Post reported.
The mosque and Hassanen’s high school are offering grief counseling. “We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event,” the mosque said in a statement. “It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth.”