Jholie Moussa (Images from Facebook)
The Fairfax County Police announced Thursday afternoon that they have made an arrest in the murder of 16-year-old Jholie Moussa.
Nebiyu Ebrahim, 18, was charged with a juvenile petition of first-degree murder. Erhahim was 17 at the time of Moussa’s death in January.
Ebrahim was taken into custody today after being released from jail, police said. He was finishing a short stint behind bars after being convicted of strangling Moussa in an incident that happened prior to her disappearance. Ebrahim was found guilty in juvenile and domestic relations court earlier this month.
The police are holding a news conference on the case Friday at 9 a.m. at the county government center.
Moussa’s body was found by police in Woodlawn Park on Jan. 26, two weeks after the Mount Vernon High School sophomore was last seen walking out of her family’s home in the Mount Zephyr area. Police said Thursday that she died of asphyxia by smothering and blunt force trauma; they did not say where and when Moussa was killed. Police searched Woodlawn Park, which was is less than a mile from Moussa’s home, shortly after her disappearance but did not discover anything.
Moussa’s family was critical of police early on in the case for classifying her as a runaway. Speaking Covering The Corridor two days after the teenager disappeared, Moussa’s mother tearfully pleaded for more help finding her daughter, saying the police had not followed up on potential leads. In a statement released the next day, police informed the public of Mousa’s disappearance but said there was no indication to believe she was in danger because she had left her home voluntarily.
Two days later, on Jan. 17, the FBI began assisting in the case, and Fairfax Police released a statement saying many acquaintances of Moussa were not being “fully cooperative” with the investigation.
Police said Thursday that Ebrahim lived with his parents in the 8400 block of Diablo Court (see map), not far from Woodlawn Park. He had first been publicly named a “person of interest”in the case shortly after Moussa was found. The police on Thursday said he became a suspect early on in the investigation.
This story has been updated.