COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The family of a leader in the Columbus Somali community is thanking the public for its support and asking for its help.

The family of imam Dr. Mohamed Hassan Adam issued a statement Wednesday, calling Adam a “hero to all who knew him.”

Adam was reported missing last week, and his body was found inside a van near South Linden on Christmas eve.

The statement asks the Columbus community to help find those responsible for Adam’s death.

“Those responsible for his death are still at large,” the statement reads. “We request that the authorities conduct a thorough investigation and we pray justice will be served swiftly.”

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Columbus Division of Police at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).

The family’s statement, in full, is below:

We, the family of Imam Dr. Mohamed Hassan Adam, want to thank the community for the tremendous outpouring of support in the wake of his shocking murder last week. He was a beloved husband, father, son and friend, and his loss is a collective one that we share with thousands of individuals, children and families that Imam Mohamed served every day.

For the past two decades, in the heart of Columbus, Ohio and beyond, he was not only a force of compassion, but a model of service who was driven to give back to those who needed it most.  Imam Mohamed was a humble man, but his efforts to help others made him a hero to all who knew him.

His work included establishing a food pantry in Columbus, delivering hot meals to families during the COVID-19 pandemic, and organizing local fundraisers for victims of Hurricane Katrina. As an Imam, or religious leader, he commanded immense respect in the Muslim community, providing personal and spiritual counseling, and mentoring youth.

Year after year, during the month of Ramadan, he fed hundreds each night after long days of fasting to meet their religious obligations.

Imam Mohamed will forever live on in the hearts of those whose lives he touched with his selfless acts and we will work tirelessly to keep his legacy alive.

Now, we ask for the community’s help in seeking justice for Imam Mohamed.  Those responsible for his death are still at large.  We request that the authorities conduct a thorough investigation and we pray justice will be served swiftly.

We urge anyone with information about this crime to come forward and contact the Columbus Division of Police at 614-645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-TIPS (8477).

Those wishing to honor Adam can attend a Janazah (funeral service) Thursday, Dec., 30, at the Asr prayer time (approximately 3:10 p.m.) at Ibnu Taymiyah Masjid, 2334 Mock Road, Columbus.