Last month, Shaima Alawadi's tragic story was told to the nation -- and the world. The 32-year-old mother of five was savagely beaten to death in her California home. As The Blaze reported, the woman, an Iraqi immigrant, was found by her 17-year-old daughter along with a note that purportedly read, "Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist."
Initially, people were outraged that purported anti-Islamic sentiment would lead to such horror. Now, just weeks later, some are beginning to question members of Alawadi's own family.
According to the Daily Mail, police are turning the investigation to Alawadi's daughter and husband, as evidence seems to be debunking the notion that the murder, as the aforementioned note would indicate, was a hate crime. The Daily Mail continues:
The Iraqi family was troubled by relationship issues before Shaima Alawadi, 32, a mother of five was beaten to death in her California home, according to newly released documents that contain little evidence the killing was a hate crime.
Alawadi, 32, planned to divorce her husband and move to Texas, according to search warrant records obtained by U-T San Diego.
And the victim's 17-year-old daughter was apparently distraught over the prospect of an arranged marriage to her cousin.
Alawadi's daughter, Fatima Alhimidi, reportedly had a strained relationship with her mother. According to a search warrant affidavit, a text message was sent from the young woman's phone around the time that police were interviewing her about her mother's death. It allegedly read, "The detective will find out tell them (can't) talk." This, of course, is both puzzling and concerning, although a text message without context holds the potential to be misread on all sides. So far, it is not evident to whom the message was sent.
Other documents show that the young woman was found by authorities while allegedly having sex in a vehicle with a 21-year-old man back in November. Her mother was alerted and ended up picking the young woman up after the incident unfolded. On the car ride home, Fatima reportedly jumped out of the moving vehicle and received subsequent treatment for minor injuries. Clearly, there were tensions in the family.
But, while some may be quick to look to family members, police documents also show that there may have been a suspect nearby the home on the day of the beating. NBC San Diego reports:
Records also show a possible suspect was near the house on the day of the crime. A neighbor gave police a description of a possible suspect spotted running from the crime scene.
The suspect is described as a "darker skinned boy in his late teens or early 20s … with a skinny build, carrying a donut shaped cardboard box." He was seen at 10:30 a.m., about 45 minutes before Alawadi's daughter called 911.
The case is certainly complicated, with numerous elements not adding up. While the family claims another letter, similar to the one calling Alawadi a terrorist, was dropped at the house weeks before the incident, lab tests have determined something very intriguing about the note found near the body: It is likely a photocopy and not the original.
"We’re not the terrorist, you are. Whoever did it. We don’t know what color you are, but we do know one thing," Fatima said following the incident. "You are not Christian, you’re not Muslim, and you’re not Jewish, you’re someone without a religion, because if you know God, you would know God would not accept that. You’re an animal…you’re not even an animal."
Watch her daughter speak about the incident in a news report from last month, below:
Alawadi's husband, Kassim Alhimidi (who reportedly has worked for the U.S Army as a contractor to assist soldiers serving in the Middle East with cultural understanding) and Fatima are still in Iraq, where they went for the burial.
According to NBC San Diego, police have also looked for evidence tying the husband to the crime, as there were reported tensions and a potential divorce on the horizon.
Also, another interesting piece if information is that Fatima, who was in the house at the time of the attack, allegedly waited 10 minutes to check on her mother after hearing breaking glass.
Police will continue searching for the culprit, as they attempt to assemble the complex details.