COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio have confirmed that a body found last week inside a van at the wooded lot of a Columbus business was that of a missing imam, and the case has been classified a homicide.
Columbus police on Sunday identified the deceased as 48-year-old Mohamed Hassan Adam, a longtime imam at Masjid Abu Hurairah mosque on the city’s northeast side. Community members said the imam had been missing since Wednesday.READ MORE: Adorable Newborns At Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center Dress Up In Terrible Towels
Police said the investigation is still in the early stages and haven’t released any information on a possible motive. The cause of death wasn’t immediately released. No arrests have been reported.
Shortly after police were called to the scene Friday, scores of people gathered when news of the body’s discovery spread within the Somali community.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: The Snow Has Arrived
“Mohamed Hassan was someone who would feed the homeless. Mohamed Hassan was the one who would monitor our youth to stay away from drugs, to stay away from gun violence,” Imam Horsed Noah, outreach director of the Somali Islamic Centers of Ohio, told the Columbus Dispatch. “He was a great father. He was a great husband. He was a great son to his mother. Today, the Somali community lost a pillar.”
The Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and its national headquarters on Friday announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved.
Anyone with information was asked to call Columbus police homicide investigators.MORE NEWS: Live Winter Storm Tracker: Snow Now Expected To Reach 6-12 Inches In Pittsburgh
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