- Last Updated: 1:10 AM, May 31, 2012
- Posted: 1:08 AM, May 31, 2012
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Egyptian-born cab driver suspected in the 2008 "honor killing" of his two daughters in Texas because they were dating non-Muslim boys may be working at his old trade in New York, according to a private investigator who has tracked him.
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 believes 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. 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, adding 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 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.
FBI officials declined to comment on the case, saying only that the bureau is assisting in the search for Said. On its wanted poster, the FBI describes the 6ft 2in (1.88m), 180-pound (82kg) Said as wearing a mustache and dark sunglasses, both indoors and outside. He frequents Denny's and I-Hop restaurants and smokes Marlboro Light 100 cigarettes. He is either 50 or 55 years old.
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