North Carolina man accused of murdering wife and throwing her body from bridge into lake

The body of Hadeel Ghadhanfer Hikmat, 34, was found in Jordan Lake in New Hope Valley on 29 August

Andrea Blanco
Thursday 21 September 2023 00:07 BST
Omar Drabick is facing charges of first-degree murder and concealment of unnatural death
Omar Drabick is facing charges of first-degree murder and concealment of unnatural death (Chatham County Sheriff’s Office)

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Louise Thomas

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Authorities in North Carolina have accused a man of murdering his wife and tossing her body in a lake.

Omar Matthew Ibrahim Drabick, 34, is facing charges of first-degree murder and concealment of unnatural death in connection with the killing of his wife Hadeel Ghadhanfer Hikmat. The victim’s body was pulled from Jordan Lake in New Hope Valley on after a boater spotted the remains on 29 August.

Law enforcement believes Mr Drabick reportedly dumped her body off a bridge. Hikmat, who was found wearing a pearl necklace, was not immediately identified, prompting authorities to share a sketch with the public.

Hikmat’s brother Firas Hikmat reported her missing to police in Apex, where the victim and her husband lived, after she failed to answer his calls, according to ABC11. Hikmat was eventually positively identified through fingerprint analysis.

“I don’t know exactly if I’m happy that Omar is in jail or sad because of my sister’s murder, Hadeel. Nothing can get her back,” Mr Hikmat told the outlet about news of Mr Drabick’s arrest.

Mr Hikmat said that he had been concerned about his sister’s safety before she was killed. The grieving brother said his family is originally from Iraq and that Hikmat had moved to the United States following her marriage to Mr Drabick last year.

Hadeel Hikmat studied engineering in Iraq and had recently taken a job at a Walmart.

“My sister Hadeel was so ambitious, so dedicated ... she was working two places because she wanted to help her husband,” Mr Hikmat told ABC11 before Mr Drabick’s arrest

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office added that detectives conducted searches on 8 September at two separate locations that were known to be frequented by Hikmat.

“These kinds of incidents are a reminder of the tragedy of domestic violence,” Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson said in a statement. “It’s a scourge that affects far too many lives and causes immeasurable pain and suffering. We urge anyone who may be in an abusive relationship to reach out for help and support.”

Mr Drabick is being held without bond in the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.

His next court hearing is scheduled for 25 September.

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