Detectives returned to the Almaleki home on October 26 for a follow-up interview with Ali and his mother, Seham. By now the detectives had examined phone records, which showed that Faleh had been in touch with his immediate family and others around the time of the assaults.

Seham admitted that she had lied in her earlier interview with police, but she continued to deny knowing her husband's whereabouts.

Mother and son also admitted they had picked up the medicine at the pharmacy. But Seham insisted she had thrown the pill bottles out of her car window, though she couldn't come up with a reason for having done so. Seham again blamed onetime friend Amal Khalaf for what had happened in the DES office parking lot.

Noor Almaleki with friends at her 20th and final birthday party.
Noor Almaleki with friends at her 20th and final birthday party.

Amal got what was coming to her, Seham spewed, because she is the matriarch of a family supposedly flush with drug abusers and thieves. By contrast, Seham told the detectives, "We have a good family."

Ali told her, "No, Mom. We don't."

Later that evening Ali Almaleki met with detective Boughey alone at a restaurant.

Out of his mother's presence, he provided new details of his father's call to him before the assaults. Faleh had just seen Noor and Amal at the DES office. He said his father sounded angry, so he told Faleh to go home. But Ali said Faleh phoned later to say he had run down Noor and Amal with his car.

During the conversation Faleh told Ali to "man up," because he wouldn't be around anymore.

On October 27, British Customs officials informed U.S. immigration authorities that Faleh Almaleki was in custody in London. He had arrived on a plane from Mexico City using his own name and his U.S. passport. A computer check showed that Faleh was a wanted man in Arizona.

British Customs put Faleh on a Delta flight to Atlanta, Georgia, where the feds have a port of entry for incoming fugitives.

On October 28, Mexican authorities in Nogales contacted Peoria police. They had found Faleh's Jeep — the missing weapon — in a mall parking lot. Crime-scene investigators later found hair, fiber and human tissue on the vehicle.

On October 29, Peoria detectives Chris Boughey and Jeff Balson sat across from their suspect in Atlanta.

Faleh Almaleki waived his Miranda rights against self-incrimination, which meant the detectives could question him.

At first Faleh told them he had run over the two women in a freakish accident after coincidentally finding them at the DES office.

"If I want to try to kill my daughter, why would I kill my daughter with vehicle?" he asked, trying to sound reasonable. "I have no problem with my daughter; this is not the first time she left the house.... If I want to kill her, I go buy a gun. I know where they live. I just lost control [of the car]."

Detective Boughey asked him whether he had been trying to scare the women.

"Might be something like this," Faleh claimed, "but I don't try to kill them."

The detectives picked away at the murky account.

"I've been angry," Faleh replied, "and I lost control. I lost the brain."

But he continued to insist that he had not premeditated his actions.

Like his wife, Faleh faulted Amal Khalaf for having "stolen" their twenty-year-old daughter from them.

He insisted that he loved Noor, noting that his cell phone contained several photos of her. But as if it were a self-evident truth, Faleh said his daughter should not have become so "Americanized" — that it was wrong.

Faleh said he had stayed at the Nogales hotel for two nights, during which time a "stranger" gave him about $1,900 in cash for his Jeep and agreed to make sure some "paperwork" got to Ali.

Though unconfirmed, a far more likely scenario is that Faleh's cousin, Jamil Almaleki, or someone else close to the Almalekis delivered the money, diabetes medicine and clothes that Faleh had with him when British authorities collared him.

Jamil Almaleki could not be contacted for this story, and police reports suggest that he may have returned to Iraq.

Faleh said that while he was in Mexico he hopped a bus from Nogales to Hermosillo, and then flew to Mexico City. Within a day he boarded a Mexicana Airlines flight to London, where his desperate flight from the DES parking lot abruptly ended.

Detective Boughey asked Faleh whether his family was on his side. Perhaps, the detective said, his attack had restored some of the "honor" supposedly lost by Noor's lifestyle choices.

Faleh didn't reply directly, saying he would certainly help a friend or family member in a similar predicament.

"It's our culture," he explained.

Faleh asked the detective what he would do if he had such a disobedient daughter.

Boughey responded that he would not crush his daughter with a car. He soon asked Faleh again whether he had meant to hurt the women.

Yes, Faleh Almaleki finally confessed, he had.

"If your house has got a fire [in] just part of the house," he said, "do we let the house burn or [do] we try to stop the fire?"

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