Police find no evidence of hate crime after teen found dead near Virginia mosque

The Fairfax County Police Department(STERLING, Va.) -- Virginia police are not investigating the death of a 17-year-old -- whose body was found near a mosque -- as a hate crime, they announced Monday morning.

Based on the information our detectives have at this point, there is no indication that this was a hate-bias motivated-related crime," police said. "If that changes as the investigation progresses, we would certainly pursue that aspect."

The remains found in a Virginia pond Sunday are believed to be those of a 17-year-old girl who went missing earlier in the day after she and her friends left a mosque, according to police.

Fairfax County police charged Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, Virginia, with murder in connection with the case. Torres was expected to appear in court this morning, police said.

The teenage girl, whose identity has not been released, was walking outside with a group of friends when she got into a dispute with a man in a car at around 4 a.m. Sunday, according to police. The man got out of the car and allegedly assaulted the girl.

She eventually became separated from her friends, who ran away from the scene and called the police after they realized she was missing, according to authorities.

Police arrested Torres after a search and later obtained a murder warrant charging him with her death. It was not immediately clear whether he had obtained an attorney.

 

 

"The Office of The Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to confirm the identity of the remains and determine the exact cause and manner of death; however, detectives do believe the remains are those of our missing teen,” the Fairfax County Police Department said in a statement Sunday.

The remains were found in a pond at around 3 p.m. Sunday in Sterling, located about two hours north of Richmond.

Police said they looked into whether the killing was a hate crime but said they found no indication “that this was a bias incident.”

The teens had been participating in an overnight activity at a religious center, according to police, but they did not identify the center by name.

The All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling said officials there called the police after the girl's friends ran in for help. It was unclear whether the teens were affiliated with that particular religious center.

“We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event,” the center said in a statement. “It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth.”

The center said it would have licensed counselors on site today to help the community cope with the loss.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring urged the public to show "love and support" for All Dulles Area Muslim Society and the Muslim community.

 

 

"The unspeakable murder in Sterling feels like an assault on our entire community. Love and respect must overcome hate," Herring said in a tweet Sunday. "This breaks my heart. @ADAMSCenter_ has always welcomed me like family. Let's surround community w/ love & support."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombs

Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombsRuskpp/iStock/Thinkstock(MCLEAN, Va.) -- A Labrador retriever named Lulu has flunked out of bomb-sniffing school after she displayed to her handlers that she was no longer interested in detecting bombs, according to the CIA.

"We are sad to announce that Lulu has been dropped from the program," the CIA announced in a press release Wednesday.

Lulu did not make the cut to graduate with her fellow fall 2017 puppy classmates after she began to show signs that she wasn't interested in sniffing out explosive odors a few weeks into training.

We’re sad to announce that a few weeks into training, Lulu began to show signs that she wasn’t interested in detecting explosive odors. pic.twitter.com/c6lxHPfC09

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

There are a million reasons why a dog has a bad day & our trainers must become doggy psychologists to figure out what will help pups. pic.twitter.com/iaeRpGiSUR

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


Pups often have off days when they're training for such an important job, the CIA said. The issue -- which can often be fixed with more playtime and breaks -- is often temporary.

"After a few days, the trainers work the pup through whatever issue has arisen, and the dog is back eagerly and happily ready to continue training," the CIA said. "But for some dogs, like Lulu, it becomes clear that the issue isn’t temporary."

Lulu wasn’t interested in searching for explosives.
Even when motivated w food & play, she was clearly no longer enjoying herself. pic.twitter.com/puvhDk1tRX

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


Lulu was no longer motivated to search for explosives and was "clearly not enjoying herself any longer" when motivated to do so with food and play.

"It's imperative that the dogs enjoy the job they’re doing," the CIA said.

Trainers made the "extremely difficult decision" to drop Lulu from the program for her physical and mental well-being, the CIA said.

Lulu's handler adopted her, so she now enjoys cushy work-free days that include playing with his children and sniffing out rabbits and squirrels in the backyard. She even has a new friend -- a fellow Labrador retriever -- to hang out with all day.

Lulu was adopted by her handler & now enjoys her days playing w his kids & a new friend, & sniffing out rabbits & squirrels in the backyard. pic.twitter.com/WOImM75P1D

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017


"We’ll miss Lulu, but this was the right decision for her," the CIA said. "We wish her all the best in her new life."

We’ll miss Lulu, but it was right decision for her & we wish her all the best in her new life!https://t.co/nPZl6YWNKb pic.twitter.com/Mbcr9C7wUY

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

Lulu's handler is still on the search for an explosive detection K-9 partner, the CIA said.

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