Police in the US state of Virginia found the remains of a missing Muslim teenager who was assaulted and disappeared overnight after leaving a mosque with her friends in the Sterling area, a statement said on Sunday.
Fairfax County police found the body of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen in a pond on Sunday afternoon.
Police charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres with murder.
The girl had been walking with friends when she got into a dispute with a man in a car early on Sunday, police spokeswoman Tawny Wright said. The man assaulted her and she became separated from her friends.
Police said they arrested Torres after a search.
The teenager had been participating in a sleepover at a religious institution that authorities did not identify. But the All Dulles Area Muslim Society confirmed in a news release that the teens were affiliated with the mosque.
“We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event,” the society said in the press release.
“It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth.” It said the society was enlisting licensed counsellors to assist anyone in need.
Meanwhile, the girl’s mother said detectives told her that Nabra was struck with a metal bat.
The teenage girl was wearing an abaya – a full-length black dress typically worn by Muslim women.
A possible hate-crime motivation is among the things authorities are investigating, police said.