HAMILTON, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - It's a crime that shocked a small northeast Indiana lake community in 1989. Now many are hoping the suspected murderer will be put behind bars for good.
The man accused in 19-year-old Todd Kelley's death left the country more than 20 years ago. He's now back preparing to face a judge for the first time.
"It's not going to bring him back but it would be nice to know that somebody who did commit this crime or something is going to have to go to jail," said Toby Bireley, friend of Todd's.
Kelley was found stabbed to death inside his Hamilton home in August 1989. Mahfuz Huq, who we're told had dated Kelley's girlfriend, was charged with the murder. But Huq managed to escape authorities for more than two decades.
It's a horrifying memory for one of Kelley's closest friends.
"It was pretty hard, I mean, I think about it every once in a while. Some days are better than others," said Bireley.
Closure seemed out of reach for so long but Indiana State Police Detective Kevin Smith's work is now paying off. Smith tracked Huq to his native country of Bangladesh. That's where he was living under an alias name. U.S. authorities were unable to extradite him but once he traveled to India he was picked up.
"People are kind of creatures of habit. If you're fleeing in a case like this, they're going to probably go back to the country they're familiar with, or a place that they're familiar with, like their home. So that's where I started," said Det. Kevin Smith, Indiana State Police.
Now the case is left in the hands of the court system.
"All these years have went by with really no closure on what has happened," said Bireley.
Although Huq is back on U.S. soil Bireley is afraid to get his hopes up before a trial begins and they learn more about the evidence in the case.
"I hate to see something get shattered you know, on a technicality or something like that. But I really do think he did it. Why else would he run," said Bireley.
Huq is set to appear before a judge in Steuben County Thursday.
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