A Michigan teen is accused of smothering his mother to death before throwing her out the third floor of her home to try to make her death look like an accident. Muhammad Altantawi, 16, was charged with first-degree murder on Friday after an autopsy test revealed she died from asphyxiation before being allegedly pushed, Detroit’s ABC7 reports. Initially, the teen was charged with second-degree murder.
Altantawi was arrested in August for the death of his mother 35-year-old Nada Huranieh. The day she died, a 911 call was made for an “accidental fall.” When the first officer responded to the scene, they spotted Muhammad doing chest compressions on his mother with one hand, ABC7 reports. His other hand was holding the phone as he spoke to a 911 dispatcher. Officer Nathan Jordan said he noticed a rag near Nada’s body that appeared to smell like chemicals. He also spotted an open window in the home. Inside the home, he found a ladder and a bottle of Tilex on it near that window. Muhammad told Jordan that his mother was probably cleaning the window. Jordan and other officers at the scene almost immediately suspected that something seemed off, according to Fox2 Detroit.
“"Something just didn't feel right,” Jordan testified in court on Friday. “Then we started noticing that the positioning of her body was not what you would expect from someone falling out of the window and we were trying to figure out how she could have landed that way and it appeared that something struck that little ledge … and I remember thinking something was off because that’s not how someone would normally land if they fell.”
Nada and her husband were in the middle of a divorce at the time of Nada’s death. He no longer lived in the home during the incident and is not considered suspect. Nada's former divorce attorney, Carolyn Markowitz, told ABC7 that Muhammad allegedly sympathized with his father who thought Nada was becoming too Americanized after she began ignoring Muslim traditions.