The body of Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old girl who went missing from The ADAMS Center Mosque on the morning of Sunday, June 18, has been found by police in Fairfax, Virginia.
According to Fairfax Police, Hassanen was walking from The ADAMS Center toward a shopping center with a group of friends around 3 AM. According to Fairfax County Officer Tawny Wright said, some of her friends told police they were walking together in the area when the girl got into a dispute with a man who drove by in a car. The man got out of his car and assaulted the girl, Wright said.
Fairfax Police discovered a female body in the pond around 3 PM on Sunday. The pond is 2 to 3 miles away from where the original altercation happened. Authorities began searching for Hassan around 4 AM on Sunday in the area of Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive in Herndon.
via Washington Post:
According to accounts from police and a mosque official, a group of four or five teens were walking back from breakfast at IHOP early Sunday when they were confronted by a motorist. All but one of the teens ran to the mosque, where the group reported that the girl had been left behind, according to Deputy Aleksandra Kowalski, a spokeswoman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.
Loudoun and Fairfax police jointly conducted an hours-long search around Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive in Herndon, which is in Fairfax. Remains thought to be the girl’s were found about 3 p.m. Sunday in a pond in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle in Sterling. During the search, an officer spotted a motorist driving suspiciously in the area and arrested Torres, police said. Police said they collected several articles of evidence but declined to provide further details.
Hassanen, who was a sophomore at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia, and would have been starting her junior year this fall. Her mother, Sawsan Gazzar, said detectives told her that Nabra was struck with a metal bat.
Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Virginia, has been arrested and charged with her murder. Police are currently investigating whether or not the assault and murder of Hassanen was a hate crime.
The ADAMS Center Mosque released a statement on the tragic incident:
On Sunday, June 18th 2017, at approximately 4 a.m., according to Fairfax County Police, a dispute occurred between a group of teens who were walking along Dranesville Road in Sterling and a man driving a car. It appears the man got out of his car and assaulted one of them, a 17-year-old girl. Community members came across the group and directed them to ADAMS Center. Immediately thereafter, the ADAMS’ personnel notified both Loudon County and Fairfax County authorities who immediately began an extensive search to locate the missing girl.The search continued until around 3 p.m. when the body of a female were found in a pond in Sterling.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to confirm the identity of the body and determine the exact cause and manner of death.The joint county investigation has led to an individual being taken into custody as a suspect. Charges are pending further investigation. We thank both Fairfax County Police and Loudoun County Sheriff’s departments for their diligent efforts in investigating and apprehending a suspect. We call on law enforcement to investigate and determine the motive of this crime and prosecute to the full extent of the law.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. ADAMS has licensed counselors on site to assist anyone in need of counseling during these difficult times.
We would also like to thank our community, government officials and interfaith partners for their prayers and support during these tough times.For further questions, we ask that you please contact the Fairfax County Police Media Relations Bureau, 703-246-2253. Due to the nature of the ongoing investigation, we have been advised not to discuss this matter further.
The Fairfax County Police released a statement on the incident:
Reston Police District – A man has been charged with murdering a 17-year-old Reston girl who was reported missing today, Sunday, June 18, around 4 a.m. near Dranesville Road and Woodson Road, in the Herndon area. An investigation determined she was walking outside with a group of friends when they got into a dispute with a man in a car. It appears the suspect, Darwin A. Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, got out of his car and assaulted the victim. Her friends could not find her and police were called to help.
Numerous patrol officers from the Fairfax County Police and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office immediately began an extensive search. The police helicopter, K-9 teams and search and rescue teams also responded to search for the missing teen, whom officers believed to be injured. While searching, one officer saw a car driving suspiciously in the area and stopped it. The driver, later identified as Martinez Torres, was taken into custody as a suspect.
Around 3 p.m., the remains of a female were found in a pond in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle, in Sterling. The Office of The Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to confirm the identity of the remains and determine the exact cause and manner of death; however, detectives do believe the remains are those of our missing teen. They later obtained a murder warrant charging Martinez Torres for her death.
Detectives and Victim Services Specialists are have been in close communication with the family throughout this investigation and will continue to provide assistance, as needed. The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office provided invaluable resources and assistance and we will continue to work closely with them as the case develops.
At the time of this writing, a crowdfunding page created for Nabra has raised over $50,000.