Skip to main content

Slain Iraqi emigrant returns home for burial

From Mohammed Tawfeeq, CNN
updated 8:40 AM EDT, Sat March 31, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Shaima Alawadi was found beaten inside her home in San Diego County
  • She was taken off life support last week
  • Her body was flown back to Iraq for burial

Najaf, Iraq (CNN) -- An Iraqi woman who died in California after a brutal beating was laid to rest in her native country Saturday.

Shaima Alawadi, 32, was taken off of life support last week after being found unconscious in her living room in San Diego County. A threatening note was found near her body, U.S. authorities said.

Alawadi's daughter said the note threatened the family to go back to Iraq and called them "terrorists."

Police said a similar note was left outside the family home earlier in the month, but the family did not report it.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki provided the plane that repatriated Alawadi back to Iraq.

Alawadi's body arrived in Iraq Saturday morning in the city of Najaf, about 160 kilometers south of Baghdad.

Two Iraqi police vehicles escorted a civilian pickup truck carrying Alawadi in a wooden casket from the airport to al-Shakeri mosque, where traditional Islamic prayers were performed.

She was then taken to the Wadi al-Salam cemetery in Najaf, known as the "Valley of Peace."

Dozens of people attended Alawadi's funeral, including her husband, daughter and son. The casket was carried by a number of men over their shoulders and was taken inside the cemetery while 10 policemen carrying Iraqi flags were walked in front of the mourners.

Alawadi and her husband have three daughters and two sons, ranging in age from 8 to 17.

U.S. police have not said whether they were treating the case as a hate crime, saying they were "exploring all aspects of this investigation."

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT