Alawadi’s Family Probed in Her Death

Mike Blake / Reuters

Mourners hold a candlelight vigil to remember Shaima Alawadi outside her home in El Cajon, California March 28, 2012. Alawadi, a 32-year-old Iraqi-American woman, died of her wounds on Saturday after being severely beaten in her home by a killer who left a threatening note that prompted police to investigate the murder as a possible hate crime.

When Shaima Alawadi was found bludgeoned to death last month near San Diego, many assumed it was a hate crime motivated by her Muslim roots because a note was left by her body calling her a terrorist. But now investigators are focusing on her family. Police believe Alawadi had plans to divorce her husband after talking with family members and finding legal documents in her car that indicated she was trying to leave the marriage. They are also looking into her daughter’s resistance of an arranged marriage.