An unthinkable story has developed out of Peoria. Peoria police recently arrested six members of a Phoenix-area family they say targeted a 20-year-old relative and attempted to kidnap her because they disapproved of her boyfriend, who isn’t of their Muslim faith.
The woman, who has not been identified and 20 weeks pregnant, informed police that she was afraid of her relatives and felt they would kill her because they believe she has brought dishonor to the family. Following the arrests on Thursday, detectives released the probable cause statement filed in Maricopa County Superior Court stating they believed the family wanted to send the victim back to Iraq.
Court records show the accusations of threats and assaults have occurred dating back to March. The most recent assault occurred at a medical building in Avondale last week. Police reported that the relatives took the woman’s cell phone and purse, along with her boyfriend’s gun, during a violent assault. The woman frantically grabbed onto the responding officer, pleading “please, don’t let them take me,” according to court records.
The police identified the suspects as:
Ali Alfartousi, 33
Bashir Alfartousi, 36
Fares Alfartousi, 63
Souad Alfartousi, 59
Yaser Alfartousi, 35
Zahraa Alfartousi, 31
Fares is identified as the victim’s father, Souad is the victim’s mother, Ali, Bashir and Yaser are the victim’s brothers, and Zahraa is the victim’s sister. The suspects are described as traditional Muslims.
Court records describe additional incidences.
Investigators report that Peoria Police officials responded to a home that belongs to the victim’s boyfriend’s mother on March 14, 2021. Between 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on that day, the victim’s brothers came to the house, they did not answer the door. The victim’s boyfriend’s mother yelled through a window that they needed to leave, or the police would be called. The brothers left, but at around 2:40 p.m., the victim’s sister Zahraa showed up at the house. The victim’s boyfriend’s mother once again instructed for to leave, but Zahraa became upset, and knocked over several potted plants.
During interviews investigators learned that the victim’s family had a history of harassment against the victim because of her relationship with a boyfriend, who is described as being of another religious faith. The victim’s family told investigators that they believed her boyfriend was holding her against her will.
Kidnapping attempts were allegedly made. Court documents stated that 10 days after the March 14 incident at the victim’s boyfriends mothers home, Yuma Police officers were called to a hotel in the city for a disturbance involving a gun.
In court documents, the victim said her family tried to kill her and her boyfriend in Phoenix, which led to them to move to Yuma in an effort to get away and hide from her family.
At the Yuma hotel, it is reported that the victim and her boyfriend spotted the victim’s family. Before the victim could run, her brother Bashir grabbed her in a bear hug.
The victim’s boyfriend retrieved his gun, pointed towards Bashir, and told Bashir to let her go. Bashir let go of the victim.
Bashir was arrested by Yuma Police for the alleged kidnapping attempt. However, court documents stated that charges were not filed with the Yuma County Attorney’s Office.
According to the Yuma Police report, she stated “that if her brother had successfully kidnapped her and he had planned to bring her back to her family where she would have likely been killed,” detailed in the statement.
Post the Yuma kidnapping attempt, the families began leaving threatening messages.
On May 3, court documents stated that the victim’s boyfriend received a threatening voicemail from the victim’s other brother Ali.
In the voicemail, Ali allegedly threatened to kidnap the boyfriend’s 15-year-old sister if the victim was not returned to her family.
The message stated, according to court documents, “This is Ali, her brother. If you don’t bring my sister back, I’m going to kidnap your sister. I’m not scared of your American laws.”
In the most recent kidnapping attempt, Peoria Police officials, responded on Aug. 27, to a parking lot in Avondale where the accused family members attempted to once again kidnap the victim, as she arrived at a doctor’s appointment.
“Ali, Yaser, Zahraa, Souad and Fares pulled the victim into a vehicle and began punching her in the stomach. Two witnesses in the parking lot came to the aid of the victim allowing her to escape,” the statement details.
Investigators shared in court documents that during an interview with the victim, the victim strongly felt that she has ‘dishonored the family,’ and feels she will die.
“[The victim] also made mention she feels she will end up like ‘Noor,'” referencing a so-called ‘honor killing’ murder investigation in Peoria. In 2011, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, was convicted of running over 20-year-old Noor Almaleki and another person, in what prosecutors called an ‘honor killing.’ Almaleki was sentenced to over 30 years in jail.
Through the investigation, the family does not seem to feel any remorse for their behavior or actions toward the victim. Court documents detail that the victim’s sister Zahraa told investigators that the victim’s boyfriend was a ‘bad person,’ and that she disapproved of the victim’s relationship with her boyfriend.
Both Fares and Souad, according to investigators, said they did not feel their actions were criminal in nature during their respective police interviews.
Her brother Ali, even went on to say that he would still find the victim even if he was in prison, and the victim was 80 years old. “Ali repeatedly said [the victim] was ‘blood’ and that it did not matter if [the victim] no longer wanted contact.”
The six suspects are accused of the following offenses:
- Ali: Kidnapping (Domestic Violence), Aggravated Robbery, Threats
- Bashir Alfartousi: Kidnapping (Domestic Violence)
- Fares Alfartousi: Kidnapping (Domestic Violence), Aggravated Robbery, Disorderly Conduct
- Souad Alfartousi: Kidnapping (Domestic Violence), Aggravated Robbery
- Yaser Alfartousi: Kidnapping (Domestic Violence), Aggravated Robbery, Disorderly Conduct (Domestic Violence)
- Zahraa Alfartousi: Kidnapping (Domestic Violence), Aggravated Robbery, Threats, Disorderly Conduct
According to court documents, the family has ties to Iraq, and planned to send the victim back to the Middle Eastern country.
Police encourage anyone with information on this case should leave an anonymous tip by calling Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS.