SAN ANTONIO (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Investigators say the Iraqi parents of a 16-year-old girl who allegedly ran away from her South Texas home to avoid an arranged marriage have been charged with attacking her for refusing to wed an older man.
According to CBS News, police say the parents repeatedly assaulted their daughter until she agreed to an arranged marriage.
Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar on Friday announced that the missing juvenile was found and placed with Child Protective Services — along with five younger siblings.
Salazar said the girl — a Taft High School student — had been missing since January 30.
“It became fairly obvious very early on that this wasn’t a regular missing persons case,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar told reporters Friday.
“Several times it was reported to us that this young lady was abused, with hot oil being thrown on her body. She was beaten by broomsticks. At one point she was choked almost to the point of unconsciousness,” said Salazar according to CBS News.
Maarib’s father, Abdulah Fahmi Al Hishmawi, 34, and mother, Hamdiyah Saha Al Hishmawi, 33, had reportedly accepted a $20,000 payment for the marriage. Right now they are facing family abuse charges, though more charges may be added by the FBI.
Maarib’s father had previously reached out to the FBI believing his daughter may have been kidnapped instead, Sheriff Salazar told reporters, the girl had run away from her family and was found safe then placed in the care of CPS.
The man who arranged the teen’s marriage may also be facing charges.
The San Antonio Express-News reports officials say the family is from Iraq and has been in the U.S. for two years.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.)