Memorial for Slain Muslim Teen Set On Fire In Washington, DC

Torres then took her to another location in Loudoun County, according to police, where she was assaulted again.

Fairfax County police said the incident began when a group up to 15 teens at an overnight event at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque in Sterling left to grab a bite to eat at a nearby McDonald's early Sunday. Torres pulled over, chased the group with a baseball bat and attacked Nabra, police say. Moments later, he attacked the group with a baseball bat, police said.

"What investigators told the father and the mother, he hit her in the head and put her in the auto and he threw her in the water", Nabra's family friend and spokesperson Abas Sherif told WJLA.

Fairfax Police have charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres with murder.

Police have said her beating death appears to be a case of road rage, but many outside observers are skeptical, especially Muslims who say the case looks much like a hate crime.

Road rage was the apparent motivation behind the killing of a Reston teenager on Sunday, according to Fairfax County police.

"It's disgusting, the fact that this is being investigated as a road-rage incident as opposed to being a hate crime", said Baidan Ali, 20, of Annandale. In Virginia, neither police nor witnesses interviewed by The Associated Press said they saw anything to make them think the teenagers were targeted over their religion.

"She loved everybody", her father said, taking pride in the fact that he teaches, and will continue to teach, his children to love others regardless of their background.

They will be followed by a vigil in Reston on Wednesday evening after a funeral that afternoon.

At the same time, he said there are people in the Muslim community who are less concerned with the legalities of what constitutes a hate crime and have a more visceral reaction.

Salaam said the community is struggling because Nabra was beloved by so many, and so well known for her kind spirit. He says "this community will not forget this young lady or her family".

"In the general area, it's very somber [and] we're obviously upset - people are sad, some are scared, some are concerned", he said.

"I hope nothing happening to the other families, like what happened to my daughter", he said.

Martinez-Torres was arrested in Virginia Sunday after Hassanen's remains were found in a lake near his apartment.

Abdou said the news of Hassanen's death shocked her. Nabra's father, Mohmoud Hassanen Aboras, noted that his daughter's best friends were Hispanic Christians. "We're all missing her". "Maybe this happened for Nabra and we lost her because it's a message from Allah to send to all of the people that Muslims are not a terrorist".

"If nobody gave you a compliment, she gave you a compliment", he said.

"We want every possible motive there is to be brought on the table, even if there is [only a] 0.5 percent chance that it's a hate crime - we want it on the table", Fariad said. "I would never feel that she will always be safe".

  • Larry Hoffman