A body found in a park in the Mount Vernon area on Friday has been tentatively identified as a 16-year-old missing girl from Fairfax County and her death is being investigated as a homicide, police said.
Jholie Moussa, age 16, lived less than a mile from Woodlawn Park, where police officers discovered her body, covered in leaves and debris, around 11:00 am Friday.
Jholie had been missing since she left home on January 12, police said.
Fairfax County police refused to say what motivated officers to search the body for the site, which was discovered behind a pair of tennis courts and was almost completely hidden.
Julie Parker, spokeswoman for Fairfax County Police, said it was For the second time the police had searched Jholie Park and hoped to find her alive. The first search occurred in the days after his disappearance.
Many other questions were left unanswered. The police were waiting for a cause and manner of death of the coroner and Parker refused to comment on a motive or possible suspects. No arrests have been made in the case.
Parker said that Jholie's body has been transferred to the coroner's office. Police said it was not clear how long the body was in the park, but Johlie was identified by her appearance and a tattoo.
At a press conference on Friday night, Parker had to divert questions about the handling of the case by the department, which angered Jholie's parents.
The parents said in interviews with the media that they thought Jholie might be in danger, but that they did not believe the police dealt with the case urgently.
Parker rejected that idea. "We understood that she had left home and there were no signs of foul play," he said.
Jholie was last seen leaving her home in the 4200 block of Sonia Court around 4:15 p.m. on January 12, according to a message from his mother on Facebook.
The message said that Jholie told her sister she would return, but did not send her another text message until 8:02 p.m. Say that I would go to a party in Norfolk, Va. That was the last time he heard about her.
Cyrille Moussa, Jholie's father, told WUSA9 that Jholie received a call on January 12 from a cell phone of a 12-year-old boy. The father said that the boy later told him that a man asked the boy to lend him his phone to make the call.
Jolie was reported missing by her family the next day, police said.
Last week, Fairfax County police said they had interviewed about 20 Jholie friends, but many did not cooperate fully.
Jholie's family did not respond to requests for comments on Friday.