WASHINGTON — A 17-year-old boy is in custody for previously assaulting a Fairfax County girl whose body was found in a community park last week and police now consider the teen a person of interest in connection with the girl’s death.
The 17-year-old, whose name has not been released, faces a juvenile charge of felony assault. Although he is considered a person of interest, he has not been charged in connection with the death or disappearance of Jholie Moussa, said Major Richard Perez, major crimes commander for Fairfax County police.
The boy was taken into custody on Jan. 18, where he remains. Perez would not say when the 17-year-old hit Moussa. He said only that it was a previous incident that was never reported to police and was uncovered as they investigated Moussa’s disappearance.
Perez declined to describe the relationship between Moussa and the boy.
Moussa was last seen on Jan. 12. Her body was recovered on Friday from Woodlawn Park, less than a mile from her family’s home.
Investigators are still waiting for an autopsy report and don’t know how Moussa died. In the meantime, Perez said police are treating her death meantime as a homicide and continue to pursue all leads.
So far, those leads have taken investigators as far away as Philadelphia and Norfolk, said Lt. James Bacon.
“This case took a lot of turns with a lot of incoming information,” Bacon said. He said investigators continue to work through “an enormous amount of leads.”
Police said they searched local hangouts and the homes of Moussa’s friends as they began their investigation. Police had no reason to believe at that point that Moussa might have ben abducted, Bacon said.
But after several days, Moussa had “fallen off the electronic radar” — her social media posts had stopped and investigators upgraded her missing person status to endangered, Bacon said.
Leads ultimately took police to the park, which they searched twice before recovering Moussa’s remains, Perez said.