The husband of an Iraqi-American woman who was beaten to death near San Diego in March in a killing initially probed as a possible anti-Muslim hate crime has been arrested in connection with her death, police said on Friday.

Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old mother of five, was found bludgeoned to death in her home in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, home to a large Arab-American population, and died of her injuries several days later.

A threatening note found at the scene suggested Alawadi might have been targeted because of her ethnicity. In a sign of how closely the case was being watched, the US State Department expressed condolences for her death, and Iraqi government officials attended her funeral in Iraq.