Man Torches Memorial for Murdered Muslim Teen

Thousands attend funeral for Nabra Hassanen in Virginia
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2017 1:16 AM CDT
This mage provided by the Hassanen family shows Nabra Hassanen in Fairfax, Va.   (Courtesy Hassanen Family via AP)
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(Newser) – A memorial to murdered Muslim teenager Nabra Hassanen was set on fire in Washington, DC, Wednesday—but as with the murder itself, police say there is no evidence it was a hate crime. Police say 24-year-old South Carolina man Jonathan Solomon was arrested Wednesday morning after the memorial of flowers and posters was set on fire at a Dupont Circle fountain, reports the New York Daily News. He has been charged with vandalism. Later Wednesday, around 5,000 people gathered in Sterling, Va., for the funeral of 17-year-old Nabra, who was kidnapped and killed while walking back to a mosque early Sunday. Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, has been charged with the murder.

"I just want to thank everyone for your love and support and I just want to say to Nabra that I love you and I’ll always miss you," 10-year-old Nour, one of Nabra's three sisters, told mourners, per the Washington Post. Police have described the killing as a road rage incident, not a bias crime, but "if evidence develops of a hate crime, I promise we will charge to the highest levels," Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. tells the AP. Nabra's body was found in a pond near Torres' home, and the chief says police are awaiting the results of tests to determine whether she was sexually assaulted. "We're doing a thorough investigation and that's something of concern to us," he says. (Read more murder stories.)

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