Sarah and Amina Yaser Said were buried in a Muslim cemetery in Denton. The Lewisville High students were remembered as teens who excelled in academics and athletics.
$ REWARD: Have You Seen Amina's & Sarah's Murderer?
For two years, Fox News has been investigating the short lives and violent deaths of Texas teenagers Amina and Sarah Said.
The sisters were riddled with bullets in their dad's borrowed taxi cab on New Year's Day 2008. As 911 operators listened in, Sarah appeared to name her father as the killer — her dying words: "Help! Help! My dad shot me... and now I'm dying!"
This kind of crime isn't supposed to happen in America's heartland — an honor killing.
Honor killings are when a father, husband or brother kills a wife, daughter or sister because he thinks she has "shamed" the family. The United Nations has found such murders are all too common in Muslim lands. Now they are happening here.
How and why?
Through exclusive interviews and never-before-seen footage, Fox News exposes the implications of this shocking case.
SOURCE: FOX NEWS
Slain Lewisville sisters mourned at Christian, Muslim services
Relatives of Lewisville High teens plead with father to surrender to police
09:09 PM CST on Sunday, January 6, 2008
By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News
Sarah and Amina Yaser Said looked luminescent in their pink dresses, a pink flower in each girl's hair. One might have thought the sisters were sleeping were it not for the matching pink-lined caskets that held them.
[Click image for a larger version] COURTNEY PERRY/DMN
Sarah and Amina Yaser Said were buried in a Muslim cemetery in Denton on Saturday. The Lewisville High students were remembered as teens who excelled in academics and athletics.
Their Christian funeral service Saturday – followed by a Muslim service later in the day – served as a reminder of the promise their short lives held and the needless tragedy of their deaths. Police believe they were killed by their father, a 50-year-old cabdriver.
And the police presence was a reminder that the girls' Egyptian-born father, Yaser Abdel Said, is still on the run.
Amina, 18, and Sarah Yaser Said, 17, who both attended Lewisville High School, were found shot to death in a taxi at an Irving motel Tuesday night.
Before the service, the girls' mother and brother issued a public appeal for Mr. Said to surrender. Patricia Said said her husband needed to be brought to justice so that her "girls can rest in peace." She said that she and her son would remain in hiding until her husband is captured.
"I just want him to pay for what he did to my girls," Mrs. Said said.
Islam Said has previously disputed widespread rumors and media reports that his Muslim father's religion may have been the reason for the killings. Some have speculated that the deaths may have been "honor killings," a practice in which a man kills a female relative who he believes has somehow shamed the family.
[Click image for a larger version] COURTNEY PERRY/DMN
Patricia Said mourned the loss of her daughters at a Baptist service Saturday at Rahma Funeral Home.
Irving police have said that they are exploring all possible motives for the slayings. Police have acknowledged that the family had some previous domestic problems.
Gail Gartrell, the sisters' great-aunt, said Saturday that Mr. Said had physically abused the two girls for years. Around Christmas, the girls' mother – Ms. Gartrell's niece – had fled because of Mr. Said's threats to kill the girls after he learned they had boyfriends, she said.
"She ran with them because she knew he would carry out the threat," Ms. Gartrell said. "This was an honor killing."
She said her niece returned after Mr. Said told her that he would move out so they could reconcile. Within a few days, she said, the girls were dead.
Photos: Funeral, candlelight vigil
Reward offered for man accused of killing teenage daughters
On the night they were found slain, one of the sisters called 911 from a cellphone and said she was dying. Police soon found the two dead of multiple gunshot wounds in a taxi at a service entrance of an Irving hotel.
The funeral at the Rahma Funeral Home on Spring Valley Road highlighted the two vastly different cultures the girls had come from. Mingling among women wearing hajibs covering their hair and loose-fitting flowing clothing were teenagers and adults in Western clothing.
Robert Crisp, a Catholic priest, led a Baptist service, which was followed by a service at a Richardson mosque.
With the small chapel packed and mourners filling the lobby and spilling onto the front sidewalk, strains of the contemporary Christian song "I Can Only Imagine" filled the room.
"It's certainly OK to hurt and to question – and to question even God – to be sad and angry and confused," Father Crisp told the mourners.
Father Crisp said Sarah and Amina had brought joy and hope and should be remembered for how they lived, not how they died. He also mentioned that Amina had blogged that she did not want to be only a memory.
He called upon the crowd to use the girls' lives as an example "to teach us love, hope and looking to the future."
Friends also offered heartfelt recollections of the girls, well-liked students who excelled in athletics and academics.
Kathleen Wong, Sarah's best friend, said she and Sarah had planned to go to college together.
"Sarah always wanted to be a doctor because she wanted to save lives," Kathleen said. "She was more than just a friend. She was an amazing sister."
The short Muslim service was at a gold-domed mosque in Richardson in a cavernous gym, with prayers piped across loudspeakers. The closed caskets were at the far side of the gym, end to end.
Dozens of Muslim men lined up in front of the girls' caskets. About 20 feet behind them were women in hajibs. An imam then led a Muslim prayer.
Dr. Yusuf Kavacki, head of the Richardson mosque, alternating between English and Arabic, told mourners that all living things are destined to die. Another imam talked about families being the most important thing in Islam and the need for parents to work to keep their families strong.