The father of a US Muslim teenager believes his daughter was "100 per cent" killed because of her faith, despite police alleging the murder was not a hate crime.
Authorities said 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, who was killed while walking with her friends on her way home from a local mosque on Sunday, died from a blunt-force trauma to the upper body.
Her body was found dumped in a pond.
Nabra and her friends were wearing traditional dress at the time, prompting speculation the attack was a motivated hate crime.
Police in the state of Virginia said "road rage" prompted Nabra's killing, but her father says otherwise.
When asked by The Guardian if he thought his daughter was killed because she was a Muslim, Mohamoud Hassanen said, "I believe so, 100 per cent."
"In the McDonald's there's a lot of kids, a lot of people; why did he run behind this girl especially? For what?" he said.
"When I go to court I'm going to look him in the eye: why did you do this to my daughter?
"Then I'm going to forgive him and leave him to God's face. The lord is going to judge him. He took my daughter's life."
The Fairfax County Police Department charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres with the teen's murder.
They added they believed he acted alone and were not looking for other suspects.
Police believe the killing was sparked by a fight Torres got into with a teenage boy on a bike who was with the group of girls at the time.
Investigators said Torres, who was armed with a baseball bat, later began chasing the group of teens.
He caught up with Nabra and attacked her, police said.
"It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence," Fairfax Country police spokeswoman Julie Parker said.
They added Torres was "so enraged over the traffic dispute that it escalated into deadly violence".
Officers concluded there was no evidence to indicate that the killing was motivated by race or religion.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement on Monday that Torres of El Salvador has no prior encounters with ICE.
An ICE spokeswoman declined to provide further details about Torres' immigration status.
- With AP