The FBI is hoping to jump start the seven-year hunt for a Texas man suspected of murdering his two daughters by putting Yaser Said on its top 10 most wanted list and raising the reward for information leading to his arrest.
Authorities believe Said, an Egyptian national who drove a taxi in the Dallas area, shot daughters Sarah, 17, and Amina, 18, to death on Jan. 1, 2008. Their bodies were found in his cab in the parking lot of the Omni Hotel in Irving. Relatives say Said was enraged that his daughters had adopted a western lifestyle at odds with his strict Muslim beliefs.
“Every time this case is pushed into the national spotlight we receive information.”
Family members and officials hope the FBI’s renewed effort will turn up the heat on Said, who may have fled to his homeland.
“I having been hoping for something like this for the past seven years,” Gail Gertrell, an aunt of the girls, told FoxNews.com. “For the sake of Sarah and Amina.”
Said was allegedly angry that his daughters were dating non-Muslim boys. In the days before they were killed, the sisters had fled with their mother to another aunt’s house in Oklahoma after Amina Said was threatened at gunpoint by her father.
Amina Said had signed a lease for an apartment in Tulsa, hoping to start a new life with her sister, but the pair went back to Texas with their mother to place flowers on their grandmother’s grave one last time. Days later, they were found murdered and left for dead in the cab.
The FBI raised the reward for information leading to Said’s arrest to $100,000 from $25,000 and have received promising tips in the last few weeks, an FBI official said.
“We are glad that [Said’s] addition to the Top Ten Most Wanted list has renewed interest in the case,” Katherine Chaumont, spokeswoman for the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, told FoxNews.com. “The reward is a lot more and we have already received tips that investigators are looking into.”
“We still are hoping for more leads to pursue,” she said. “Every time this case is pushed into the national spotlight we receive information.”
Said has ties to New York, Virginia, Canada, Texas and Egypt. Authorities believe he could be hiding out in any of those places as well as anywhere else in the United States with a robust Egyptian community.
“[He] likely fled immediately after the murders,” Special Agent Gil Balli, one of the lead instigators in the case, said in a release announcing the updated most wanted list in December. “There have been many reports that he is in the U.S., but we are not ruling out the possibility that he is abroad.”
Balli also said that the FBI is coordinating their efforts with law-enforcement officials in Egypt and Canada.
According to his wanted poster, Said, 57, was last seen in Irving in 2008. He is 6-feet, 2-inches tall, weighs about 180 pounds, and has brown eyes, black hair, and possibly a thick moustache. He is known to frequent diners and restaurants like IHOP and Denny’s and smokes Marlboro Lights 100s cigarettes. Authorities say he may be working as a taxi driver and is considered armed and dangerous as he reportedly carries a weapon at all times.
Said is the 504th person to be named to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list since it was created in 1950.