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Family turmoil adds to mystery of Iraqi woman’s slaying

 A search warrant released Thursday in the investigation of a slain Iraqi woman in El Cajon is painting a clearer picture of the family and raises questions over whether the brutal killing was a hate crime.

Authorities took boxes of potential evidence from Shaima Alawadi's home and the family's Ford Explorer. They found divorce documents in Alawadi's name.

The couple were at odds with their 17-year-old daughter, Fatima, who was angry about their effort to make her marry a cousin, according to documents.

The body of Alawadi, 32, was found by Fatima, who also told police she found a threatening note.

Alawadi's husband, Kassim Alhimidi, told police he had taken the couple's younger children to school when an unknown attacker brutally beat his wife March 21. She died March 24.

El Cajon police have not ruled out the possibility of a hate crime, but have said repeatedly that they are also exploring "other evidence." The search warrant does not list Alawadi's husband or daughter as suspects or persons of interest.

Alawadi's husband and daughter accompanied her body last week to Iraq for burial. She immigrated to the U.S. in the mid-1990s and lived in Dearborn, Mich., before moving to El Cajon.

The couple have five children, and Fatima is the eldest.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

 
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