Family of 'honor killing' victim visits Midtown Crime Stoppers memorial

By Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Barely a word was heard but, certainly, a few tears were shed.

The parents of Gelareh Bagherzadeh, along with a dear friend, came to Crime Stoppers of Houston in Midtown on Tuesday to view their daughter's name and image memorialized on a remembrance patio.

It was the family's first time to visit the site.

"They can have a place that they can come to in peace and tranquility and look up in heaven and say, 'You're not forgotten,'" said Andy Kahan, a victim advocate for Crime Stoppers.

Kahan has been connected to the family since Bagherzadeh's death in 2012. Her loved ones -- emotional and not wanting to speak during the trial of their daughter's accused killer -- asked Kahan to speak on their behalf.

Kahan said the family is hopeful now that a trial is underway, believing they've done all they could to bring their daughter's alleged killer to justice.

"They ended up putting out the largest reward, not just locally, not just statewide, but nationally in Crime Stoppers history, trying to get information, trying to find out who murdered their daughter," Kahan said.

Ali Irsan, 62, is the man on trial for allegedly murdering Bagherzadeh and his son-in-law Coty Beavers in a so-called honor killing.

Prosecutors said Irsan was angry that his daughter had married a non-Muslim. Bagherzadeh's family is now reliving the tragedy of her death while desperately holding out hope for justice.

"We certainly admire their courage and fortitude," Kahan said. "They're there every day. They're not missing it and they're going to be there until the end."

Irsan's trial is scheduled to resume tomorrow morning.

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