The ATF, which is tasked with investigating arson cases, released photos of suspects, offering $ 5,000 for helpful advice from the public. A. Video Mr. Felan’s “went viral,” leading to “various leads, including from people wishing to remain anonymous,” an ATF agent said in a court document. (The ATF has also used facial recognition technology, including the Clearview AI app, to identify unknown individuals, according to reports from the Government Accountability Office other Buzzfeed.)
Mr. Felan and Ms. Yousif could not be reached for comment. Mr. Felan’s attorney declined to comment as the case is pending and Ms. Yousif’s attorney did not respond to multiple attempts to contact him. This report is largely based on government documents and sources, and based on the account of their lives there, it is likely that they were terrified. Mr. Felan had previous legal problems.
And Ms. Yousif was about seven months pregnant.
So they headed south on Interstate 35, a highway that runs through the center of the country, stretching from Duluth, Minnesota, on Lake Superior, to Laredo, Texas, on the border with Mexico. They had passed through Iowa and had just arrived in northern Missouri, 300 miles from Rochester, when police first caught up with them.
An arrest warrant had been issued for Mr. Felan, allowing authorities to ping his cell phone to locate him. According to a court document, late on a Monday night, more than a week after the events in St. Paul, local police in rural western Missouri were asked to go to where he was. ringing the phone, he stopped a black SUV registered to Mr. Felan. Ms. Yousif was driving and said she did not know where Mr. Felan was. The police let her go.
Later, Ms. Yousif was charged with helping Mr. Felan flee, and the ATF shut down a new request for help, setting the reward at $ 10,000: “We are asking the public to keep an eye out for the couple along the Interstate 35 corridor.”
For the next week, the police continued to ping the location of Mr. Felan’s phone, but they continued to miss him. According to a court document, he sent a message to his brother in Texas saying he turned it off between messages, worried about being tracked; the couple eventually bought new phones.
They headed west, through Kansas and Oklahoma, heading toward Mr. Felan’s family. Her mother and siblings had learned of the persecution and worried Facebook messages were being sent to each other. At some point, the couple swapped cars with Mr. Felan’s mother.