IRVING, Texas - Authorities said an apartment maintenance man helped put them on the trail of one of the FBI's most wanted fugitives, as they nearly caught him three years ago.
Yaser Said, who faces capital murder charges in connection with the deaths of his two daughters, Amina and Sarah, back in 2008, had been on the run for 12 years, before being captured in Justin earlier this week.
Two of his relatives, Islam Yaser-Abdel Said, Yaser’s 32-year-old son, and Yassein Said, Yaser’s 59-year-old brother, were arrested Wednesday in Euless and charged for helping Yaser evade arrest.
Authorities believe Yaser took his 18-year-old and 17-year-old daughters for a ride in his taxicab on January 1, 2008. He reportedly told them he was taking them to get something to eat, but he drove them to Irving, where he is accused of shooting both of them inside the vehicle.
The FBI and police would not elaborate on a motive for the murders, but previously Irving police had said the father was upset that the girls were dating and dating non-Muslims. It was previously alleged that said committed what he believed to be “honor killings.” However, family members have disputed that.
“Your day has come. We knew you couldn’t hide forever,” said Ruth Trotter, whose son, Joseph, dated Yaser's daughter, Amina, for four years. “How do I feel? I’m not surprised. Amina told me before this happened that he would never leave the area. I’ve said it all along.”
She considered Amina to be a part of her family.
“She overheard her dad talking to one of her uncles saying that soon she was going to become a memory,” she recalled. “Amina had always been very protective of her relationship with Joseph. In the beginning, I thought that was peculiar.”
Investigators released further details Friday into how they were able to track down Yaser.
On August 14, 2017, a maintenance worker at the Copper Canyon Apartments, in Bedford, spotted Yaser inside an apartment that was leased to his son, Islam, while fixing a water leak.
The apartment manager, who was aware that Islam’s father was a fugitive, contacted the FBI, and during an interview with an agent, the maintenance worker was able to positively identify Yaser as the man he saw inside the apartment.
The FBI agent then tried to interview Islam and search his apartment, but he would not cooperate with investigators. He also reportedly called his uncle and said, “We have a problem.”
A few hours later, the FBI Dallas SWAT team executed a search warrant on Islam’s apartment, and had to breach the door after finding it locked.
No one was inside the apartment, but they found evidence that someone had jumped off the patio and into the brush below.
Investigators sent DNA evidence from cigarettes butts, a toothbrush, and eyeglasses found in the apartment to the FBI lab in Quantico, Virginia, and it was determined that it was Yaser’s DNA.
Nearly two weeks after the search warrant, Islam was found more than 1,000 miles away, inside a car at the U.S. Canada border.
Earlier this month, FBI agents began 24-hour surveillance of a home in Justin, which had been purchased in the name of Dalal Said, the daughter of Yaser’s brother.
FBI agents reported seeing Islam and Yassein deliver groceries to the home and take trash bags from inside the home into their car.
They also reported seeing the shadow of a person in the home’s window after Islam and Yassein had left.
Agents followed Islam and Yassein to a shopping center in Southlake, where they put the trash bags into trash cans.
Investigators then searched the bags, and found cigarette butts and other evidence.
On Wednesday, agents executed a search warrant at the home in Justin, where they arrested Yaser.
They then arrested Yassein and Islam in Euless.
The FBI believes more people helped hide Yaser or communicated with him. Trotter has a message for them.
“Your day is coming, and soon everybody will know. So, enjoy to free time because it’s coming to an end,” she said.
If convicted, Yassein and Islam face up to five years in federal prison, while Yaser faces the death penalty if found guilty of the capital murders of his daughters.