Virginia Teen Kidnapped, Killed After She Left Mosque

Police say murder could have been a hate crime
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2017 2:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – The murder of a Muslim teenager who was kidnapped and killed after leaving a mosque in northern Virginia early Sunday is being investigated as a possible hate crime, police say. Police say 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was part of a group of teens who were walking back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Sterling around 3:30am after eating at an IHOP when they were confronted by a motorist, the Washington Post reports. BuzzFeed reports that mosque officials say the man swung a baseball bat at the girls. After running back to the mosque to seek help, the group discovered Nabra was missing, police say. A body believed to be hers was found in a pond a few miles away around 12 hours later.

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Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, was arrested and charged with murder after police saw him "driving suspiciously" in the area, according to a Fairfax Police press release. Nabra and the other girls, who went out to eat during a break in Ramadan prayers, had been in Muslim dress, though police say they aren't sure if the attack was motivated by bias or a dispute. The mosque "has always welcomed me and so many in northern Virginia like family," Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said Sunday night, condemning the "unspeakable attack." "Words fail at a time like this, so we'll all have to do the best we can to surround them with the love and support they've always shown each of us," he said, per NBC4. (Read more Virginia stories.)

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