The parents of a 16-year-old San Antonio teen are suspected of throwing hot cooking oil and beating their daughter because she refused to enter into an arranged marriage, officials said.
The girl’s father, Abdulah Fahmi Kala Al Hishmawi, 34, and mother, Hamdiyah Sabah Al Hishmawi, 33, were arrested Friday. They have since been released on bond from the Bexar County jail.
The teen was missing for more than a month before she was found in mid-march, has been placed into Child Protective Services custody along with five other children from the home who are 5 to 15 years old. It’s unclear if the other children were also victims of abuse, Sheriff Javier Salazar said.
At some point in mid-2017, a marriage arrangement was made between the teen’s family and an adult man living in another city. As part of the arrangement, about $20,000 would change hands, he said.
When the teen expressed that she did not want to be in the marriage, she reportedly had hot cooking oil thrown on her body, was beaten with broomsticks and was choked at least once “almost to the point of unconsciousness,” he said. “It’s really heartbreaking to hear the only way this young lady could bring an end to this abuse was to verbally agree to become a party to this marriage,” Salazar said.
The teen ran away before the marriage could take place, officials said was taken in by an organization and was safe when she was found.
The teen’s parents have been charged with continuous family violence and they may face other additional charges. The man the teen was to marry may also face charges, officials said.
The FBI joined the search for the teen, who had attended William Howard Taft High School, in February. The sheriff’s office said then that the investigation revealed allegations that she had been physically abused by someone she knew, but no further details were provided at the time.
Authorities received reports that quickly made it clear that was not a typical missing persons case, Salazar said.