A police investigation has begun after the body of a missing Imam from Columbus, Ohio, was found in a van.
Columbus Police found the dead body of Imam Sheikh Mohamed Hassan Adam in a vehicle near the intersection of 1400 block Windsor and Joyce avenues. Police confirmed his identity later on Sunday.
Police said his death was a homicide, bringing the number of murders in the city to a total of 198 in this year so far.
According to some members of the Somali Community in Columbus, Imam Adam was last seen at 7pm at the Al Huraira Mosque on Wednesday last week.
Imam Horsed Noah, Somali Islamic Centres of Ohio outreach director, told ABC: “We’ve been working hard for two days and didn’t sleep and here we are.”
The leaders of the local Muslim community said that members of the Somali community found the body.
Hasan Omar, the Somali Community Association of Ohio president, said: “We found his body because the community organised itself to find him and they found his body.”
Imam Noah added: “We were hoping that we would see him, Mohamed Hassan was someone who would fundraise for the orphans, that’s why you see this impact. Someone who would feed the homeless, someone who would take care of the immigrants and the refugees.”
Hassan Omar said: “We are not blaming anybody… but we need the law enforcement to take really a thorough investigation to ensure to bring justice.”
Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the Imam was murdered and have offered a reward of $10,000 for the information about the death.
CAIR-Ohio acting executive director, Amina Barhumi, said: “Tonight, we are shocked and devastated by the murder of Sheikh Dr Mohamed Hassan Adam of Masjid Abu Hurairah – a beloved pillar of the Columbus Somali Muslim community. Our entire Ohio Muslim community has suffered a profound and tragic loss.
“We send our deepest condolences to his family and are reaching out to offer our support. CAIR-Ohio will be demanding answers and justice and keeping our community informed of any updates. I call upon law enforcement to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the murder of this community leader, husband and father.”