Farmington Hills teen accused of smothering mom before pushing body out window

Posted at 7:23 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 19:23:00-05

Nada Huranieh, 35, had been smothered and was already dead when her body fell out of a second-story window and landed on a backyard patio at the home she shared with her three children, according to Dr. Ruben Ortiz-Reyes, a forensic pathologist with the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office.

Huranieh's 16-year-old son, Muhammad Altantawi, is accused of killing her.

Altantawi had been charged with Second Degree Murder, but moments before his preliminary examination began Friday, prosecutors upped the charge to First Degree Premeditated Murder.

While Dr. Ortiz-Reyes concluded that asphyxia from smothering was the primary cause of Huranieh's death, he also testified that blunt force trauma was a secondary cause.

The first Farmington Hills Police officer to respond to the 911 call of an accidental fall testified Friday that when he arrived at the home, Altantawi was next to his mother's body doing chest compressions with one hand while holding the phone and talking to a 911 dispatcher with the other hand. 

Officer Nathan Jordan said he told Altantawi and one of his younger sisters to go flag down the fire department while he remained with their mother doing CPR.

Officer Jordan says he spotted a rag near the body that smelled of chemicals and noticed an open window about two and a half stories above.

When the officer later entered the home and went upstairs and into the guest bedroom, he could see the open window. Beneath it was a ladder with a bottle of Tilex on it. 

When talking to the children again, Huranieh's teen son said the last time he saw his mother was the night before around 8 p.m.

Altantawi said his mother usually gets up before everyone else to clean the house.

But Officer Jordan and other first responders began to suspect something wasn't quite right.

Nada's body was face up and her feet facing away from the house, not consistent with someone who had fallen out of a window, Jordan testified.

Altantawi reportedly told officers that it was one of his younger sisters who found their mother's body on the patio and called 911 the morning of August 21.

Nada Huranieh and her husband were estranged and in the middle of a divorce. He was not residing in the house at the time of her death and is not a suspect.

Nada's former divorce attorney, Carolyn Markowitz, says Nada had had enough of her marriage after her husband reportedly threw her down the stairs in 2016.

Markowitz says it seemed that the couple's teenage son was sympathizing with his father who thought Huranieh was straying away from Muslim traditions and becoming too Americanized.

The preliminary examination for the teen has been adjourned until early December for defense attorneys to obtain photographs from the medical examiner.

Altantawi remains in custody.