In a report released Monday, Florida investigators said they found no "credible" evidence that the father of a teen Christian-to-Muslim convert threatened to kill her.
"Our investigation has provided no clear evidence of criminal activity," stated the investigative report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Investigators said they found no evidence of any abuse, and also no indication that 17-year-old Rifqa Bary is in danger of being killed. The report – unsealed Monday evening by a judge in Orlando – called her fear "a subjective and speculative concern."
Rifqa, who is at the center of the contentious custody battle, ran away from her Ohio home in July reportedly out of fear that she would be killed by her Muslim father for converting to Christianity.
In a court filing, Rifqa claimed her father said, "If you have this Jesus in your heart, you are dead to me!" The teenager said her father added, "I will kill you!"
Following this and other alleged threats, the Sri Lanka native boarded a bus bound for Orlando, where she was taken in by the Rev. Blake Lorenz of Global Revolution Church. Rifqa had met the charismatic pastor through a Facebook prayer group.
Though Rifqa initially believed her parents would not look for her, they did and a custody battle has since ensued between the Bary family, who wants her to return to their Ohio home, and Rifqa, who wants to stay in Florida until she turns 18 next year.
Late last month, Rifqa's attorney filed court documents accusing the mosque her parents attend, Noor Islamic Cultural Center in the suburb of Columbus, Ohio, of having ties to militant extremists. Rifqa's attorney maintains that if the girl is returned to Ohio, even if her family doesn't harm her, she would be in danger from members of the mosque.
Rifqa's father, Mohamed Bary, however, has vehemently denied ever threatening to kill his daughter for converting to Christianity and accuses the Lorenzes of "brainwashing" his daughter into believing she was in danger of an honor killing.
The director of the Noor Center has also refuted all charges linking him or the mosque to terrorism. He says the Center has invited a variety of speakers including Christians, Jews and atheists.
Presently the two parties, by order of the judge, are in mediation with a pre-trial hearing date set for Sept. 29.
Regarding the recently released investigative report, Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy, said it not only falls short but also misses the most important part of the case - that Islamic law, or sharia, mandates death to apostates, or people who forsakes their religion.
"To be an apostate is a capital offense," the conservative think tank leader pointed out to the local St. Petersburg Times.
Gaffney called the report "misleading," "irresponsible" and "incomplete at best."