On Sunday morning, a 17-year-old Muslim girl named Nabra was kidnapped, beaten to death and left in a pond in Sterling, Virginia.
Darwin Martinez Torres of Sterling was arraigned Monday in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Tammy Wright, a spokesperson for area police said that because "nothing suggests that this girl or the group was targeted because of who they are or what they believe", that the murder was not being investigated as a hate crime.
Hassanen and a group of more than a dozen youths had just finished eating at a McDonald's and were heading back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling for an all-night Ramadan event when they noticed a man in a auto following them, the teens told News4.
The mosque holds several prayers throughout the night during the celebration of Ramadan, according to Tajul Islam, a receptionist at the ADAMS Center. According to The New York Times, Torres got out of the vehicle and assaulted Hassanen, which is when the rest of the group ran back to the mosque.
Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, has been charged with the crime and is now in police custody.
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Torres couldn't be reached for comment and CNN could not determine if he has retained a lawyer.
Police began looking for Hassanen around 4 a.m. Sunday, after the teens arrived at the mosque without Hassanen.
On Monday, Nabra's friends gathered outside her Reston, Virginia, apartment with flowers. Her friends sought help at ADAMS, the mosque said in a statement.
Two separate fundraisers - one through GoFundMe, another with Muslim crowdsourcing page LaunchGood - started after news broke of Nabra's murder have raised over $50,000. "She then went missing (presumably kidnapped/moved by the suspect) and was found dead this afternoon", Chaker said. The assailant was quickly subdued after the incident, but a local imam told the Guardian that he and other worshippers prevented a group of people from attacking the driver until the police arrived.
While the group had been seeing a rise in anti-Muslim incidents prior to Donald Trump's stunning rise in last year's presidential primaries and November election victory, it said the acceleration in bias incidents was due in part to Trump's focus on militant Islamist groups and anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Police reiterated Monday the slaying is not being investigated as a hate crime.
A police spokesman told reporters that the attack followed some sort of dispute between the man and the girls, and the authorities had not ruled out hate as a motivation for the attack. "It's racism. Getting killed because she's Muslim".
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The officers will be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, the police department said in its statement . She added that Lyles had a history of mental health problems and was released from King County jail less than a week ago.
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