Warrant issued for cousin of man found dead in trunk of car at abandoned Moon Twp. gas station

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. — An arrest warrant has been issued for a man after another man was found shot to death in the trunk of his car in Moon Township.

Anoosh Almas, 25, is wanted on homicide and related charges after the body of Junaid Akhlas, 28, of Beaver, was found at the former Texaco Service Station at 8000 University Boulevard, which is across from Moon High School and near Robert Morris University.

Almas is described as a South Asian male, 5′7″ in height, 210lbs in weight, medium build.

Akhlas was reported missing from his home at 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to police. His body was later found by family members, and he appeared to have been shot in the head before he was put in the trunk of his own vehicle at the abandoned gas station.

Relatives say Akhlas, who is the father of a 1-year-old boy, was giving a family member a ride to the airport when he was last seen.

His sister, Zonash Akhlas said Junaid was a kind person who didn’t have enemies and was well liked. The family of Pakistani refugees moved to the United States a few years ago, and Junaid was the main provider for the family.

And the family is still in disbelief.

“I never thought that he would go like this… I never thought he would go like this… they shot him in the head and put him face down in the ‘dikki,’ who would have thought,” she said. “Even if they find him it’s not going to bring my brother back. But i really want justice, why would you do that to such a kind person?”

Details outlined in court documents

According to the criminal complaint for Almas, police were called to the abandoned former gas station at around 12:36 p.m. on July 20. They found Akhlas in the trunk of his Toyota Yaris and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said he had been shot in the head.

Documents said Akhlas’ brother was last with him when he got a call from Almas requesting a ride to Pittsburgh International Airport. Akhlas left to pick Almas up sometime around 11 p.m. Monday night.

When he didn’t come, the family became concerned. Relatives tried contacting both Akhlas and Almas multiple times. On Tuesday morning, Akhlas’ brother went to the airport and asked Allegheny County police about him. It was at that point the investigation was started.

Officers checked the license plate reader camera system and found that Akhlas’ Yaris never appeared on airport property that night. Before 1 a.m., the plate was identified near a Walmart store and the former gas station in Moon Township.

After that, officers and family members started searching for the car, eventually finding it at the former Texaco station. As investigators were processing the scene, they found a Stoeger model STR-9 9mm pistol, along with two magazines with bullets inside, behind the gas station. Police said the gun had a jammed bullet inside.

A check of records found the gun was registered to Almas.

Later that day, detectives went to Almas’ home and interviewed his uncle. He told them he saw an email from Expedia.com that said Almas had booked a flight to Mexico.

Officers at Pittsburgh International were able to confirm Almas was a ticketed passenger and was seen on security camera boarding a 9:15 a.m. Spirit flight heading to Cancun, Mexico.

Investigators then observed Almas on the airport’s camera system arriving earlier that morning from a Lyft. The driver of the car went to the Beaver police station after being contacted by detectives. He told them he was notified by Lyft shortly before 7 a.m. of a pickup at the Super 8 Motel in Moon Township. The passenger, Almas, came out carrying a plastic bag and put it in the garbage before entering the car.

Detectives went to the motel and saw Almas on camera renting a room around 1:30 a.m. They checked the garbage can and found a bag of clothing soaked with blood.

A motive for the killing has not yet been revealed.

Almas faces charges, including tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, receiving stolen property, criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse.