Yaser Said (inset) is suspected of killing his daughters because he believed they were becoming too westernized.
Yaser Said fled his Dallas-area home after allegedly shooting daughters Amina, 18, and Sarah Said, 17, on New Year’s Day in 2008 and is now on the FBI's list of most-wanted fugitives. Although he took his Egyptian passport and $9,000 when he bolted,
Bill Warner, a private detective who has worked for Said's sister-in-law, believes he never made it out of the country. With family ties to New York and a large community of his countrymen to blend into, Warner says the odds are good the suspected killer is behind the wheel of a car for hire in the Big Apple.
“It’s all he knows and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he’s there working as a taxi driver,” Warner, who has worked on and off tracking Said, told FoxNews.com. “He could blend in at a metropolis like New York.”
Said’s brother, Yassein Said, lives just north of the city in Westchester County and the FBI notes Yaser Said's ties to the area on his wanted poster, saying he "may have fled to New York or Egypt." Warner, who is based in Sarasota, Fla., believes the money Said took would not have been enough to flee to his native Egypt and set up a new life.
“The brothers are really tight, so it’s likely they assisted him in some way,” Warner also said, citing that a few years ago he located a post office box in Westchester County under the names of Yaser Said and his brother.
New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission, which regulates yellow cabs as well as livery cars, requires criminal background checks conducted by the state for anyone applying for a license, according to a commission spokesman. But Said could easily rent a licensed car under the table or simply use his own vehicle to pick up fares illicitly, according to Fernando Mateo, president of the New York State Foundation of Taxi Drivers.
"There are 10,000 illegal drivers in New York City," Mateo said. "It's as easy as getting in your car and driving to the airport or picking up illegal street hails."
Said allegedly shot his daughters on Jan. 1, 2008, after they ran away from home a week earlier, fearing that he would kill them for dating American boys. The girls' aunt, Gail Gartrell, claimed the murders were an “honor killing,” an act practiced outside of mainstream Islam where a family member can be killed for bringing “great dishonor” to the family.
Upon returning to the Irving area, the girls were coaxed into going with their father in his taxi for something to eat, but were instead taken to a remote area and shot multiple times.
More common in the Middle East, honor killing has been a controversial issue among Muslims living in Western nations. Many say that the act has nothing to do with Islam and is a holdover from tribal society.