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Iraqi woman dies after beating; threatening note found nearby

This news story was published on March 25, 2012.
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By Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times –

SAN DIEGO — A 32-year-old Iraqi immigrant died Saturday, three days after being found beaten into unconsciousness in her home in El Cajon, Calif., with a note near her body warning her to go back to Iraq, officials said.

Shaima Alawadi was found unconscious in the dining room of the home Wednesday morning by her 17-year-old daughter, according to El Cajon police. The note was nearby, police said. The family reported receiving a similarly threatening note days earlier, police said.

Alawadi was taken to a local hospital but was quickly determined to be brain dead. She was taken off life support Saturday afternoon.

Police have not yet labeled the attack a hate crime, but they believe the beating to be “an isolated incident,” not part of a pattern of attacks.

The suburbs east of San Diego have been a popular destination for Iraqi immigrants, particularly Iraqi Christians. Alawadi, a mother of five, had moved to the area just weeks ago from Michigan.

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