Police Continue to Look for Killer Eleven Years Later

By: WOWT Email
By: WOWT Email

The Iraqi native came to Nebraska to live the good life, settling in Lincoln. But, it wasn't long before Ali al Saidi and his young wife were both watching over his shoulder.

"He was worried," Lincoln Police Sergeant Ken Koziol said. "He was telling her that they probably needed to leave Lincoln. He basically feared for his life."

And, just days later, a gruesome discovery showed al Saidi had every reason to be concerned.

"Mr. al Saidi is the victim of significant traumatic injuries that led to his death," former Lincoln Police Chief Tom Casady said in 2001.

"A very brutal, a very personal murder. It was obvious that he knew the people responsible. I've probably never seen such a brutal homicide," Koziol said.

He was attacked and beaten. His body was tossed in Salt Creek and discovered June 28, 2001.

"We'll be methodical about how we approach and what we do here, so it will be awhile," one investigator said the day of the discovery.

Awhile turned into more than a decade.

Who and why, police haven't been able to parlay into an arrest yet.

But, one of the original investigators on the case still hopes to put the killers behind bars.

"We want to do the right thing," Koziol said. "We want to find the people responsible."

That's easier said than done. The investigation was far from ordinary since al Saidi's body was found that summer day.

And, the problems police have battled to find answers haven't faded since.

Those are things like language, cultural differences, mistrust of police and even people taking justice into their own hands.

"They feel that situations should be handled by family," Koziol said. "They feel they have a right to handle it themselves and then get on with their lives."

While the killers walk free, other lives were forever changed by al Saidi's death.

"We loved each other very much," his wife said just after his death. "Why did they kill him? Why?"

It's for those people, family and friends, that Koziol wants to bring closure.

"I think we have some viable suspects in this homicide," Koziol said. "I'm not really at liberty to discuss who they are, but they know who they are. We feel we have a motive for what happened."

Getting any farther than just a motive, he thinks can still happen even all this time later.

But, he said, it will take help from the Iraqi community.

"I'm hoping that they will come to us in one way or another," he said.


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