Police are investigating a body found on the city’s North Side Friday afternoon, which community members believe to be a local imam, as a homicide.
In a release on the incident, police said its the 198th homicide in Columbus this year.
The Columbus Division of Police have yet to confirm the identity of the person, who was found dead on Friday afternoon in the 1400 block of Windsor Avenue on the city’s North Side. He was found in a vehicle in a wooded lot owned by All City Auto Recycling.
Shortly after police were called to the scene approximately 200 community members met at the intersection of Joyce and Windsor avenues to mourn who they say was Mohamed Hassan Adam, longtime imam at Masjid Abu Hurairah mosque on the Northeast Side.
Adam had been missing since Wednesday, community members said.
The Council on American Islamic Relations Ohio chapter (CAIR-Ohio) is offering a $10,000 reward for information about the death and calling for justice.
Amina Barhumi, CAIR-Ohio acting executive director, released a statement Friday night along with the announcement of a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved.
“Tonight, we are shocked and devastated by the murder of Sheikh Dr. Mohamed Hassan Adam of Masjid Abu Hurairah – a beloved pillar of the Columbus Somali Muslim community. Our entire Ohio Muslim community has suffered a profound and tragic loss,” Barhumi said. “We send our deepest condolences to his family and are reaching out to offer our support. CAIR-Ohio will be demanding answers and justice, and keeping our community informed of any updates.”
Barhumi also called on law enforcement to “conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the murder of this community leader, husband and father.”
This was the second homicide on Christmas Eve in the city. Around 6 a.m. on Friday morning, two men were arguing on the city’s Northwest Side when one stabbed the other, according to police.
Pradeep Anand, 33, died from the stabbing later that day and Robin Sebastian, 32, was charged with his murder.
Dispatch Reporter Dean Narciso contributed to this article.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Body found on Christmas Eve being investigated as homicide