WASHINGTON — Fairfax County police say the killing of a 17-year-old Reston, Virginia, girl is not being investigated as a hate crime, police tweeted Monday morning.
The remains of the missing teen were found in a pond in Sterling, Virginia, on Sunday.
Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, has been charged with murder for the girl’s death, police said. Officers apprehended him when one of them noticed him driving suspiciously in the area.
The teen was first reported missing around 4 a.m. Sunday near Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive, in the area of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque, also known as the ADAMS Center.
Fairfax County police and the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office searched the area extensively since she was believed to be injured. Around 3 p.m., remains were found in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle in Sterling, Fairfax County police said.
Police have not named the teen and said they were awaiting the results of an autopsy to confirm the identity of the remains and determine the cause and manner of her death. But detectives believe those remains are the missing teen girl.
She and her friends were affiliated with the local mosque, The Associated Press reports. The teen’s friends told police that the girl was walking with friends and got into a dispute with a man in a car. Police said the man got out of the car and assaulted the teen. It was at some point during that altercation that the girl went missing, a police spokeswoman said.
“We’re still trying to piece together the chronology of what happened,” Officer Tawny Wright, a police spokeswoman, said earlier.
The principal of South Lakes High School in Reston released a statement Sunday night regarding the police investigation, saying, “It’s believed that the missing teen is one of our students and while we await further news about this very sad incident, I would also ask that you refrain from engaging in rumor and speculation on social media about today’s events.”
Crisis counselors will be at the school Monday morning.
This story has been updated. The Associated Press and WTOP’s Jacob Kerr contributed to this report.