Police say road rage incident led to the death of Virginia Muslim teen

The Fairfax County Police Department(STERLING, Va.) -- Virginia police believe a road rage incident led to the death of the 17-year-old Muslim girl whose body was found near a mosque, officials said in a press conference Monday evening.

The body found in a Virginia pond Sunday has been identified as 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston, Virginia, officials confirmed Monday. Hassanen went missing earlier in the day Sunday after she and her friends left a mosque, according to police.

Fairfax County police confirmed Monday that they are not investigating the case as a hate crime.

"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."

Julie Parker, director of media relations for Fairfax County police, said in Monday's press conference that the incident started early Sunday around 3:40 a.m. local time when a group of about 15 teens were walking in Fairfax County to get some food after participating at an overnight event at the ADAMS center (All Dulles Area Muslim Society). Parker said detectives believe the suspect drove up to the teens when a male teen on a bike started arguing with him.

The suspect, who has been identified as Darwin Martinez Torres, then drove up on a curb and the group of teens ran, said Parker. She added that detectives believe Torrres became enraged from the argument when he got out of his car and began chasing the group with a bat. He caught Hassanen and hit her with the bat before taking her in his car to a second unidentified location in Loudon County, said Parker.

Hassanen, whose body was found in a pond around 3 p.m. Sunday in Sterling, Virginia, died from blunt force trauma to the upper body, Parker said.

Fairfax County police arrested Torres, 22, of Sterling around 5:15 a.m. and charged him with murder in connection with the case. Torres was arraigned Monday morning and held without bail, according to an official at the Fairfax County courthouse. It is unclear if he entered a plea and it was not immediately made clear whether he had obtained an attorney.

 

 

Police said they looked into whether the killing was a hate crime, but said they found no indication “that this was a bias incident.” Officials do believe Torres acted alone, and are not looking to arrest any other suspects.

ICE said in a statement Monday that they have filed a detainer on Torres, a citizen of El Salvador, for potential deportation as he is believed to be in the U.S. illegally.

The ADAMS center in Sterling, where the teens are believed to have been attending an overnight event, released a statement in regards to Hassanen's death.

“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 Monday to help the community cope with the loss.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring urged the public to show "love and support" for the ADAMS center 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."

Parker said the investigation of the case is ongoing and said the case may be prosecuted in Loudon County instead of Fairfax County because of elements of the crime and where they occurred.

Deputy Chief Tom Ryan expressed his condolences to the 17-year-old's family and reiterated Fairfax County's support for the Muslim community during Monday's press conference.

"I can assure you that while justice will not bring Nabrah Hassanen back justice, will be done," said Ryan.

A community vigil will be held on Wednesday, June 21 by the South Lake Muslim Students Association in honor of Hassanen's death.

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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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