A former Olympic boxer has been indicted for the murder of his own daughter, an activist against domestic violence who was found dead in New York in 2019.
The body of Ola Salem, 25, was discovered in a wooded area by a passerby near Bloomingdale Park on Staten Island in October 2019. She was found fully dressed and with no immediate and obvious signs of homicide, the New York Times reported after her death. In November 2019, a medical examiner determined that she died by asphyxiation due to neck compression, the Associated Press reported. It is believed that she may have been strangled to death.
The probe into her death eventually led investigators to look at her own family as potential suspects.
Kabary Salem was arrested in connection with her death in Egypt earlier this month, NBC New York reported on Sunday. The 52-year-old was extradited back to New York last week and has now been charged with her murder.
A possible motive for the killing has not been disclosed.
In November 2019, Kabary Salem told the New York Times that his daughter said that she felt like she was being trailed.
“She always said somebody would follow her,” he told the outlet. He also hinted that she may have tried to return to her former husband, with whom she had a rocky relationship.
“I want to know what happened to her, what is the reason for that — but no one tells me — I am just waiting,” he told the New York Times, calling his slain daughter “good” and “beautiful.”
Salem left the United States after his daughter’s death, Fox News reported.
The former professional middleweight boxer is most famous for competing in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics for Egypt under the nickname “The Egyptian Magician,” the Staten Island Advance reported.
Ola Salem was a vocal advocate against domestic violence and volunteered at the Asiyah Women’s Center in Brooklyn. She also made headlines as a teen in 2011 when she was refused a ride at an amusement park because she was wearing a hijab.
“They said ‘no’ because of my ‘headgear,’” Ola, then 17, told The New York Times. “I said, ‘It’s not my headgear. It’s my religion.’”
She then went on to participate in rallies, advocating for both democracy and fair elections in Egypt.
“She was unapologetic,” Dania Darwish, president of the Asiyah Women’s Center, told the New York Times in 2019. “She challenged authority. She was not afraid of anyone.”
It's unclear if Kabary Salem has a lawyer.
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