Police in Fairfax County, Va., said Tuesday that a 17-year-old male from the Alexandria area has been identified as a “person of interest” in connection with the recent death of a teenage girl.
The body of 16-year-old Jholie Moussa was discovered last week in a northern Virginia park.
Moussa has been missing since mid-January and was initially listed as a runaway. But authorities said Tuesday that they’ve learned Moussa had been the victim of a previously unreported assault.
The 17-year-old, whose name was not released, is in custody and has been charged in the assault, police spokesman Richard Perez said.
But he added that police continue to pursue other leads.
Police said the 17-year-old was taken into custody Jan. 18 for a prior felony assault against Moussa that was previously unreported.
Detectives said the alleged incident happened before Moussa went missing Jan. 12, Washington’s Fox 5 reported.
Sources told the station that the person of interest is Moussa's ex-boyfriend.
A source told Fox 5 that one of the last calls to Moussa’s phone came from an area near the park where she was found dead. However, the GPS of the cellphone was not accurate enough to tell if the call came exactly from the park.
Moussa's mother told Fox 5 that the teen left home about 4:15 p.m. Jan. 12 and she told her twin sister she was going to a party in Norfolk. Police said they investigated that tip, but found no useful information.
Until Friday, Moussa's case was being treated as a juvenile runaway.
But police noted that many of the 20 friends of Moussa with whom detectives spoke did not seem to be fully cooperating with investigators.
The park where Moussa's body was found was reopened on Monday. A memorial service for Moussa was scheduled to be held Thursday at a church in Springfield.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.