A wanted taxi driver on suspicion of murdering his teenage daughters has been arrested after 12 years on the run.
An arrest warrant for Yaser Abdel Said was issued the day after the 2008 shooting of his daughters, Sarah Yaser Said, 17, and Amina Yaser Said, 18.
The Egyptian-born suspect was placed on the FBI’s ten most wanted fugitives in 2014.
Almost seven years later, he was taken into custody in Justin, Texas, with two relatives also arrested.
The 63-year-old will soon be transferred to Dallas County, the FBI’s Dallas branch said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The FBI-led Dallas Violent Crime Task Force has worked tirelessly to locate Yaser Abdel Said,” said FBI Dallas Special Agent Matthew DeSarno. “These experienced investigators have never given up on their quest to find him and are committed to never forgetting the young victims in this case. ”
The girls’ mother, Patricia Owens, said she was happy to learn of the arrest, telling local media: “Now the girls can rest in peace.”
The FBI also announced two more arrests, CBS DFW reported. Islam Said, the suspect’s son, and Yassim Said, the suspect’s brother, are both accused of harboring a fugitive.
What is Said accused of?
A murder investigation was opened on January 1, 2008 after Amina and Sarah were found shot dead.
That day, the suspect took Amina and Sarah for a ride in his cab, under the pretext of taking them for a meal, the FBI alleges.
The FBI says he drove them to Irving, Texas, where he allegedly shot the two girls inside the cab. They both died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Before their deaths, a family member told police the suspect threatened “bodily harm” against Sarah for having a date with a non-Muslim, according to CBS News.
The sisters’ great aunt, Gail Gattrell, called their deaths a so-called “honor killings”.
The murder of a family member who is perceived to have dishonored loved ones is sometimes described as an ‘honor killing’ – but critics argue that this is an inappropriate way to describe these deaths.
The Irving Police Department investigated the deaths of Amina and Sarah, and on January 2, 2008, a multiple capital murder warrant was issued against the arrest of Yaser Abdel Said.
Since then, local detectives and the FBI “have relentlessly pursued justice for Amina and Sarah,” said Irving Police Department Chief Constable Jeff Spivey.
On August 21, 2008, a federal warrant for illegal flight to avoid prosecution was issued by a district court in Texas.
FBI agents continued to pursue the suspect and, after “12 years of frustration and dead ends,” finally captured him on Wednesday.
Mr DeSarno said his capture and arrest “brings us closer to justice for Amina and Sarah”.
In a statement, the girls’ family said the news of the suspect’s arrest had “brought tears of elation and cries of triumph for us last night.”
The statement said the family was “relieved to have finally brought the chapter to justice” after “bright and promising lives were taken”.