“Person of interest” in Moussa murder to face trial on assault charge

Moussa pics

Jholie Moussa, a 16-year-old sophomore at Mount Vernon High School, was found dead in January in Woodlawn Park.

A juvenile “person of interest” in the murder of 16-year-old Jholie Moussa will face trial for allegedly strangling her in a separate incident prior to her disappearance, according to multiple media reports. 

The 17 year old, a former boyfriend of Moussa’s, appeared in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court with his mother on Monday afternoon for a pretrial hearing on the assault charge, according to FOX5. The station reported that Moussa’s family members also attended the hearing, but did not comment afterward. 

WUSA9 reported that five witnesses testified at the hearing, and that the media was asked to leave the courtroom by the judge after a request from the suspect’s defense lawyer. The station also reported that the trial for the strangulation charge will be in June.

Moussa was found dead in Woodlawn Park on Jan. 26, two weeks after she was reported missing from her home in the Mount Zephyr area. The Mount Vernon High School student was reportedly Snapchatting with an unknown person prior to her disappearance, and the last call to her phone reportedly came from a man who borrowed a youth’s phone at Woodlawn Park the day she went missing, according to WUSA9.

It is not yet known when or how Moussa died; autopsy results have not be released. No charges related to her disappearance and murder have been filed. 

Fairfax County Police announced Jan. 30 that they had a person of interest in Moussa’s murder, and that he was in custody on an unrelated assault charge for allegedly strangling Moussa. He was later released from jail, subject to electronic monitoring

A Fairfax County Police spokeswoman confirmed Monday that the 17 year old is still a person of interest in the murder.