Victim's Family Fills Courtroom As 1989 Murder Suspect Appears Before Judge (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson

August 1, 2013 Updated Aug 1, 2013 at 6:39 PM EDT

ANGOLA, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - A murder suspect, accused of killing a Hamilton man nearly 24 years ago, was finally brought before a judge Thursday.

Mahfuz Huq is charged with the 1989 stabbing death of 19-year-old Todd Kelley. We're told Huq previously dated Kelley's girlfriend at the time of the murder. Huq escaped authorities for more than 20 years by living under an alias in his home country of Bangladesh.

For decades, the victim's family has been searching for answers into how their son died but say they will never forget.

"To us it's only some form of justice, it's not closure," said Vern Kelley, Todd's Father.

When police were unable to track down Huq Vern took matters into his own hands. He hired his own investigators. They had leads in the Chicago area but never did find him.

"We spent a lot of money for nothing but you know we were trying. So that's all we could do at the time. Seemed like the best thing to do at that time. You have to do something," said Vern Kelley.

Todd's sister found moving away the best way to cope with losing her brother.

"It's one of the reasons I moved to a city, for the anonymity of it. It's a lot to take," said Shannon Kelley, Todd's Sister.

The prosecutor working this case is from Hamilton. He was 12-years-old at the time of the murder. He remembers it vividly. Now it's his job to prove Huq is the man responsible.

"I didn't necessarily think at the time when it happened that I would be prosecuting it all these years later but it's funny how that works out I suppose," said Jeremy Musser, Chief Deputy Prosecutor, Steuben County.

At Huq's first hearing Thursday there wasn't an empty seat.

"It's one of the bonuses of a small town, is that nearly 24 years later we still have that support surrounding us," said Shannon Kelley.

Although support helps Todd's sister says everyday is a struggle.

"I lost a potential sister-in-law, I lose nieces and nephews, we lose family events. And that continues to happen, and those loses continue throughout our lives," said Shannon Kelley.

Huq is currently being held without bond in Steuben County. He's due back in court late October.

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