Nabra Hassanen, 17, of Reston, was praying for Ramadan at the ADAMS (All Dulles Area Muslim Society) Center Sunday morning before she walked with a group of friends to get breakfast before the start of their fast, the Washington Post reported.
The teens were leaving IHOP when a driver approached them. Hassanen’s friends managed to run back to the mosque, but she was left behind.
Loudoun and Fairfax police jointly conducted an hours-long search around Dis in Fairfax County.
Remains thought to be Nabra Hassanen’s were found about 3 p.m. Sunday in a pond in Sterling.
During the search, an officer spotted a motorist driving suspiciously in the area and arrested Darwin Martinez Torres, police said.
Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Va., was charged with murder in connection to Hassanen’s death, according to the report.
The chief medical examiner’s office will declare the manner of death, and officiallyconclude whether the remains belong to Hassanen.
Martinez Torres an immigrant from El Salvador reportedly doesn’t speak much English, spoke through a Spanish translator in answering a judge’s questions during his brief arraignment Monday in Fairfax County juvenile court.
His next court appearance is scheduled for July 19.
Martinez Torres allegedly, bludgeoned Hassanen with a a metal baseball bat during the assault.
The victim’s mother, Sawsan Gazzar, told the Post that detectives said her daughter was struck with a metal bat.
“What investigators told the father and the mother, he hit her in the head and put her in the car and he threw her in the water,” family friend and spokesperson Abas Sherif told WJLA.
Police the slaying as a hate crime.
ADAMS Center representatives said in a statement issued to WJLA that they 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 statement said. “ADAMS has licensed counselors on site to assist anyone in need of counseling during these difficult times.”
Family friend Isra Chaker posted a photo of Hassanen on Facebook Sunday evening, with an emotional caption.
“This is what the world has come to,” she wrote. “In these blessed nights of this month, we are being tested beyond imagine. May Allah grant her jannah [paradise] and make this unbelievable tragedy easier on her family. No words.”
The Washington Post reported that on Sunday night, more than 30 women gathered at Hassanen’s apartment, sobbing and comforting one another,
“Please pray for me, please pray for me,” grieving mother, Sawsan Gazzar, sobbed on Sunday.
“Pray for me that I can handle this . . . ,” she said in Arabic on a phone call with her brother and sister in Egypt.
“I lost my daughter, my first reason for happiness.”