Fugitive Caught And Charged In Daughters' Murder

Author Ed Anderson

Yaser Abdel SaïdFBI

Many immigrant parents worry that their children will not remember the homeland's traditions after the move to the United States. They try to instill these values and practices into their kids, but some prefer the American way. It can lead to fighting within the family.

That was the case for Yaser Abdel Said and his family. He was born in Sinai, Egypt. As a small child, his family migrated to the U.S. They tried to keep the heritage from their home country alive and well within the family.

It worked too well with Said. As he grew up, he believed that women should be subservient to men. In his view, they were there to please the male population, and if they failed to do that, they deserved punishment.

Age Difference Marriage

In February 1987, Said married Patricia Owens. He was 30 years old, and she was just 15. It is believed it was an arranged marriage, as is the Egyptian tradition. Many say that Patricia was not a fan of her husband and tried to escape from him many times.

Those escapes were because of abuse that she suffered at Said's hands. There are allegations that he raped his wife when she refused to have sex with him. Since he was the dominant one, she felt there was no way to safely escape from the monster she married.

Said is believed to have fathered a daughter with another woman just before his marriage to Patricia. Their first child, Islam, was born in 1988. In 1989, she gave birth to their first daughter, Amina. Shortly after giving birth, she was pregnant with a second girl, Sarah, who was born in 1990.

Child Abuse Allegations

Said raised his daughters with the belief that they should defer to him. When they didn't, he would hit them. School teachers and classmates would often say Amina and Sarah would come to school with bruises on their bodies or split lips. They would demure and not answer questions about what happened.

They told friends that Said would spy on them. He would video or audio record the girls without their knowledge. According to reports, he wanted to know what they were doing, whom they were talking to at all times, and what they were saying. Amina emailed a friend saying that she was afraid her father was going to kill her.

Amina and Sarah both accused Said of raping them. Sarah even sent an instant message to a friend that said her father treated her like a whore. Both girls wanted to escape, but neither were able to.

And it ultimately would kill them.

Relationships Not Arranged

When Amina turned 16, Said took his daughter to Egypt to marry her off. He had arranged the marriage to a much older friend of his. Amina rejected the idea. Without authority, her father could not force her into the marriage like he wanted to. He was not pleased.

Adding to his annoyance with his daughters, Sarah had taken a job at a local convenience store. He began filming her at work. When she smiled too much at customers, he would punish her.

Much to his chagrin, Amina found a boy to start dating. She met Joseph Moreno at a taekwondo class. As the couple grew closer, she warned her beau not to call or text if she sent a codeword to him. He thought she was being paranoid about her father.

Said found a note Amina wrote to her boyfriend. She tried to convince him that it was an imaginary love letter. He did not believe her and continued to try to uncover the relationship. To get her to give up Moreno's name, he would beat her. Her refusal upset him.

Amina started to make plans to run away with Moreno. They were going to go to Vegas and get married. He decided the best way to end the relationship would be to move the family.

Runaway To Murder

As Christmas 2017 approached, Patricia and her daughters ran away to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Moreno had relatives there that housed them. The safety the ladies felt would not last long.

Patricia insisted that they go to East Texas to put flowers on her mother's grave in honor of her death day. It was New Year's Eve. Once they returned to Texas, Amina and Sarah were informed they were going to see Said. Their mother insisted he had forgiven them and wanted to move forward as a family.

Amina ran away. She went to a friend's house and barricaded herself in the house. Patricia tried her best to get her daughter to come out and rejoin the family. Eventually, the young woman relented. It was a fatal mistake.

On January 1, 2008, Said told his daughters he was taking them to get something to eat. They piled into the taxi cab Said drove. He then turned and shot each of the girls. Amina died instantly, Sarah called 911. She told them her father shot them. She died within minutes.

Said went on the run. Many believed he was in New York City, driving cabs.

He was caught in 2020. His son, Islam, had been harboring him in Justin, Texas.

In early 2021, Said was indicted on capital murder charges, making him eligible for the death penalty.

Islam pleaded guilty to harboring a fugitive, conspiring to harbor a fugitive, and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice in January 2021. He was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison in April 2021.

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Ed Anderson is a true crime and gossip writer from Detroit, Michigan. Ed is the author of several true crime books, most recently Cold Cases From Around The World.

Rochester, MI

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