NBC 7 San Diego
The murder of Shaima Alawadi has been deemed a case of domestic violence by homicide investigators. Her husband, Kassim Al-Himidi (R), has been arrested in the crime.
Investigators have arrested a family member in the violent murder of an El Cajon woman initially thought to be a hate crime.
The death of Alawadi, an Iraqi immigrant, reverberated across the nation because her family claimed they found threatening notes in their home, calling them "terrorists.”
El Cajon police investigators said they believed the killing was an isolated incident and records suggested Alawadi's death may not have been a hate crime.
"After months of hard work, we determined that this homicide was a result of domestic violence," El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman said Friday.
On Nov. 8, detectives arrested Kassim Al-Himidi, 48, on suspicion of the death of his wife.
Al-Himidi surrendered to authorities at the El Cajon police station according to Redman.
He’s expected to face charges of first degree murder.
There are no other suspects or arrests expected at this time according to Redman.
Search warrants filed by El Cajon police, revealed problems in the Alawadi family.
Shaima Alawadi was allegedly considering a divorce before her death. She was also said to be considering a move to Texas.
Al-Himidi traveled to Iraq immediately after Alawadi's death for her burial. He returned to the U.S. two weeks later.
Redman told reporters that investigators did not have any reason to keep Al-Himidi in the country at the time.
"He came back and we decided he was a person of interest after he came back," Redman explained without giving specifics.
The couple's minor children have been taken into protective custody.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Redman said at the end of Friday's news conference. “I’d like to thank the community for their patience and I’d like to thank my detectives for their hard work.”
"Since the beginning, the most important goal is to get justice for Sister Shaima," he said.
Mohebi wanted to stress that if it is a case of domestic violence, that there is no place for domestic violence in the faith of Islam.
When asked his thoughts about a note left at the scene possibly being used to misdirect investigators, Mohebi said he would not comment on that until after the case has concluded.
“We don’t know any of the details and the police will not comment at this point. So we will have to just wait and see at this point. We are as anxious as anybody else,” he said referring to the Muslim community of San Diego.