Reporting Denise Koch
COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — Twin tragedy. A Columbia teen is killed; the suspect is his identical twin brother. It’s an amazing story of murder, imprisonment and now freedom.
Denise Koch recently met Wael Ali, who told his incredible story only to WJZ.
They were identical twins and mirror images.
“It’s not just another brother relationship. It’s the other person that looks just like me,” said Wael Ali.
So close they’re almost like one.
“We were a team. We did everything together,” Ali said.
But this twin tale turned tragic when one ended up dead–and the other was accused of killing him.
“[I was] in jail for his murder,” Ali said. “I could imagine what my parents went through losing one son. I can’t imagine what they were feeling with the possibility of losing another one.”
The last time Wael Ali saw his brother alive was at the mall in Columbia in August 2007. They hung out there all the time. Wael left and his brother said he’d call him soon for a ride. That call never came.
“After that first hour, I started getting worried,” he said.
After five desperate days, police discovered Wasel Ali’s body near a secluded path a few miles from the mall. Police say he’d been murdered.
“It was just a fog of sadness and misery,” Ali said. “For so many years, I couldn’t even look myself in the mirror. I couldn’t stop thinking about us and what we were to each other and the plans that we had.”
Detectives questioned Ali about his brother’s death. Four years passed with no suspects. Early one morning last fall, Ali’s world got rocked again.
“I just see, like, flashlights at my back door and hear police radio chatter. They just coming, rushing in, like, 20, 25 of them,” he said.
Police arrested Ali, charging him with murdering his twin brother.
“I told him three times. I think he asked me in the interview had I killed my brother and I said no,” he said.
The case focuses on inconsistencies in Ali’s statements to police. The jury was not convinced and could not reach a verdict. The judge declared a mistrial and all charges were dropped.
“I used to pray every single day that God would just let him come to me in a dream,” Ali said. “Three months into me being in jail for the first time in four years, I dreamt about my brother. He said, `It’s going to be OK. Just hold on.”
Ali’s dream came true. Hours after the judge dismissed the case, he walked out of jail and into the arms of his family.
“It was great being able to kiss and hug my mom again,” Ali said. “To know I’m free and that this is over. We’ll never know [what happened to Wasel]. It’s unsolved.”
Ali’s attorney says prosecutors decided in the interest of justice, they would not try Ali again.