The eight-month investigation into the beating death of an Iraqi woman in her El Cajon dining room has led to the arrest of her husband, police announced Friday, putting to rest any notion that the mother of five was the victim of a hate crime.
Kassim Alhimidi, 48, was arrested at the El Cajon police station Thursday evening and booked into jail on one count of murder in the slaying of Shaima Alawadi.
He is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.
“After months of hard work, ... we determined this homicide was the result of domestic violence and not a hate crime,” El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman said at a news conference Friday.
Investigators did not discuss possible motive or evidence in the case. No other arrests have been made, Redman said.
Alawadi was attacked at the family’s Skyview Street home March 21, when her husband had reportedly left to take their four younger children to school. She was struck on the head at least six times and suffered four skull fractures, according to court records. She was taken off of life support three days later.
A threatening note that called the family terrorists and told them to go back where they came from was found near her body. The handwritten note turned out to be a copy, not an original, according to court records. The family said a similar note had been left on their door weeks earlier, but they did not report the incident to police or keep the note.
Alhimidi and his children gave tearful interviews to the media in the days following the slaying, and the widower was seen crying over his wife’s casket during her funeral in Iraq, at one point fainting.
In an interview a week after the killing, her husband told the Arabic Al Arabiya News: “My wife was a victim of xenophobia.” (Continue Reading.)
For more on honor killings in Islam, be sure to watch our ABN special.