More from Northern Virginia

One year ago Saturday, Jholie Moussa, 16, told her sister she would be “right back.”

Jholie never returned home.

The teen allegedly met with her ex-boyfriend, Nebiyu Ebrahim, in Woodlawn Park, before he murdered her. A Virginia medical examiner attributed Jholie’s death to asphyxiation and blunt-force trauma. 

On Saturday Jholie’s friends, family, and members of the Fairfax County Police Department gathered in the parking lot of Woodlawn Park before walking the same path they believe Jholie took in the last moments before her death.

A dove was released at the very spot where police discovered her body, nearly two weeks after Jholie went missing. 

Jholie’s family has criticized authorities for not taking their claims that she was in danger more seriously. Her aunts say it took national uproar over social media before police began searching for Jholie. She was discovered in a shallow grave off a path in the woods. 

Jholie’s family, immediately suspicious, searched Woodlawn Park the weekend she went missing. “We stood less than 200 feet from where she was buried and had no idea she had been there the entire time,” said aunt Veronica Eyenga. 

In February of 2018 Jholie’s family founded Not a Runaway, a nonprofit dedicated to recovering missing children considered “runaways,” when, in fact, they are in danger. 

Moussa reportedly had a protective order against her alleged killer. Although Ebrahim was a minor at the time of the crime, he is being tried as an adult. His court date is set for February.