Iraqi woman in California: Latest victim of Islamophobia
LOS ANGELES - An Iraqi woman brutally beaten in her southern California home in an apparently racially-motivated attack has died in hospital, US media reported.
Shaima Alawadi, 32 and a mother of five, died after she had been taken off life support Saturday at a hospital in San Diego County, CNN television reported.
Alawadi had been on life support since Wednesday when her teenage daughter found her unconscious in the living room of their home, the report said.
"During the initial stages of this investigation, a threatening note was discovered very close to where the victim was found," police Lieutenant Mark Coit told the network.
"We are looking at all aspects of this crime including that possibility," Coit said . "We want to stay open-minded so we make sure we don't miss anything."
Alawadi's daughter said the note told the family to go back to Iraq and called them "terrorists," CNN noted.
"A week ago they left a letter saying, 'This is our country, not yours, you terrorists,'" the daughter, Fatima Al Himidi told CNN affiliate KGTV.
"So my mom ignored that, thinking (it was) kids playing around, pranking. And so the day they hurt her, they left it again and it said the same thing."
Shahina Sial, the landlord of the rented home in El Cajon where Alawadi's family lived, said the family had only lived at the property for a few weeks, after moving back to San Diego County from Michigan.
Sial said Alawadi's husband works as a contractor for the U.S. military. Coit asked anyone with information regarding the investigation to contact the El Cajon Police Department.
The family reportedly came to the United States from Iraq in the mid-1990s.