STERLING, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia charged a 22-year-old man with killing a teenage girl from Reston who was reported missing after she and her friends left a mosque early Sunday.
Fairfax County police charged Darwin Martinez Torres with murder after they found what they believe is the 17-year-old girl’s body in a pond Sunday afternoon.
Martinez Torres, of Sterling, was arraigned Monday in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and ordered held without bail pending a July 19 court appearance.
Police spokeswoman Tawny Wright said the girl had been walking with friends when she got into a dispute with a man in a car early Sunday. The man assaulted her and she became separated from her friends. The girl’s name was not immediately released.
Police said they arrested Torres after a search involving both the Fairfax County Police and Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. A police helicopter, K-9 teams and search and rescue teams aided in the search.
While searching, one officer saw a car driving suspiciously in the area and stopped it. The driver, later identified as Martinez Torres, was taken into custody as a suspect.
The teenager had been participating in at 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 news release. “It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth.” It said the society was enlisting licensed counselors to assist anyone in need.
Police said they looked into whether the murder was a hate crime but said they found no evidence it was.
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