'Honor Killings' Trial: Investigators detail how they found Yaser Said
DALLAS - The Yaser Said trial wrapped up its first week of testimony on Friday.
Said is accused of murdering his two teenage daughters, Amina and Sarah, in 2008.
Prosecutors claim Said murdered the girls inside his cab in Irving because was upset that his children were dating.
Police previously described the murders as "honor killings."
Said disappeared after the girls' murders and eluded police and the FBI for 12 years before he was finally captured.
The defense team claims that Said was targeted due to anti-Muslim bias.
He faces life in prison if convicted.
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On Friday, the prosecution laid out the timeline leading up to Said's arrest. He'd been on the run since 2008 after the shooting death of his daughters outside an Irving hotel.
Investigators revealed they had a close encounter with Said while he was on the run, three years before being caught, but he got away.
An FBI agent told jurors what led them to the remote North Texas home where Said was ultimately arrested, and what tipped them off to his whereabouts.
Photos presented by the prosecution in court Friday revealed just how close investigators were to catching Said in August 2017.
"There was a sighting of the defendant at the defendant's son's apartment," FBI agent Daniel Gimenez said.
A maintenance worker at Canyon Apartments in Bedford recognized Said while fixing the AC inside an apartment leased by his son, Islam Said.
But by the time the FBI arrived and executed a search warrant, Said was gone.
"The defendant had escaped," Gimenez recalled.
Investigators believe he escaped via the second-floor balcony, based on crucial evidence left behind.
"There was a pair of prescription eyeglasses that were in a rocky area," Irving PD Det. David Tull recalled. "Basically, the balcony is up above where someone would've either climbed down, fallen down, jumped down, landed in the rocky area. That is where the eyeglasses were.
Using a method called DNA kinship analysis, comprised of dried blood of the two murdered sisters and an oral swab of their mother, the FBI developed a DNA profile matching the glasses to Said.
"It was of the father of the deceased victims [Yaser Said]," Gimenez said.
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Agent Gimenez testified that, following the incident, the FBI continued close surveillance on the Said family.
In August 2020, three years after the close call in Bedford, agents watched as Said's son and one of his brothers, Yasim, brought bags of food into a house in rural Justin that leased by members of the Said family.
The duo would leave with what appeared to be bags of trash.
At night, there was a revelation, as lights inside the home came on.
"There was a shadow of what appeared to be a human being walking from one side of the window to the next," Gimenez recalled.
Investigators got a search warrant and on August 26, 2020. Said was found hiding out in the house.
"The defendant came out and surrendered, laid on the ground, and was handcuffed," Gimenez testified.
Said's son and brother are serving time in prison for helping to hide him.
Said showed little emotion as jurors were shown clothing his girls were wearing when they were killed.
Forensics experts testified about their gunshot wounds.
Amina was shot twice, while Sarah was shot nine times.
One medical examiner testified about which shots likely killed Sarah.
"Clearly it’s the ones involving the right lung, the liver and the left kidney," Dallas County Medical Examiner Dr. Janis Townsend-Parchman testified.
The prosecution is expected to rest on Monday.
It will then be the defense's turn to present its case to the jury.
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