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Adnan Syed’s Conviction Vacated — Details On The ‘Alternative Suspects’ In The Murder Of Hae Min Lee

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Hae Min Lee, Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed’s murder conviction has been vacated following a year-long investigation that uncovered “two alternative suspects” in the murder of Hae Min Lee.

Lee, 18, disappeared without a trace on January 13, 1999. She was found strangled to death in a nearby park one month later.

Syed, who was 17 at the time, previously dated Lee and the two attended the same school that she was last seen leaving. He was arrested shortly after Lee’s body was found.

Syed’s case has gained traction in recent years after the release of 2014 “Serial” podcast which explored Lee’s murder and raised the possibility that Syed is innocent. 

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In a bombshell motion requesting a retrial for Syed, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said “the state no longer has confidence in the integrity of the conviction” of the now-41-year-old.

The motion also confirmed that other suspects were improperly cleared.

“The two suspects may be involved individually or may be involved together,” the motion read.

Who killed Hae Min Lee?

Adnan Syed has been serving a prison sentence of life plus 30 years for first-degree murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and robbery after the disappearance and death of Hae Min Lee in 1999.

However, this new advancement has added to a list of suspects that followers of the case suspect may have been involved in Lee’s death.

Here are the possible theories.

The two unnamed suspects mentioned in the motion to vacate Adnan Syed’s sentence.

The suspects were known to investigators at the time of Syed’s original trial and were not properly ruled out, the document states.

The defense team was also not aware of the evidence against these suspects.

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One suspect had allegedly threatened to kill Lee and said he would make her “disappear.”

Syed’s defense team was also never told that Lee’s car was located behind the home of one of the suspect’s family members.

One suspect was previously convicted of attacking a woman in her car.

A suspect was also convicted of engaging in “multiple instances of rape and sexual assault of compromised or vulnerable victims in a systematic, deliberate and premeditated way.”

“Serial” named Ronald Lee Moore as a suspect in Hae Min Lee’s murder.

It is unclear if Moore is one of the unnamed suspects but “Serial” host Sarah Koenig pointed him out as a potential suspect.

Moore, a career criminal who died by suicide in prison in 2008, has been linked to several unsolved sexual assaults and murders in Baltimore.

He was released from prison, following a burglary conviction, just 10 days before Lee was last seen.

Following his death, he was named a suspect in the 1999 murder of Baltimore County resident Annelise Hyang Suk Lee.

DNA evidence does not link Moore to the case, nor does it link Syed.

True crime sleuths suspect Roy S. Davis III was involved in Hae Min Lee’s murder.

Davis, another convicted murderer from Baltimore, has been the subject of Reddit threads theorizing about what happened to Lee.

In 2003, Davis was connected to the killing of another 18-year-old in Woodlawn. The teen was strangled 6 months after Lee died in the same way. 

A Reddit post claims Davis lived along the route Lee would have been driving on after she was last seen.

Hae Min Lee’s family believes Adnan Syed is guilty of her murder.

While speaking at Monday’s hearing, Young Lee said the motion to vacate Syed’s sentence left him feeling “betrayed.”

In a 2019 statement, Lee’s family claimed the public was misinformed about Syed and said that, to them, it was “more clear than ever” that he was guilty.

Though no forensic evidence links Syed to the case, a friend claims Syed confessed to killing Lee and says he assisted in the cover-up.

That friend, Jay Wilds, is considered by the many podcasts and documentaries about Syed’s case to be an unreliable witness as his account of the events has repeatedly changed over time.

The motion advocating for Syed’s conviction to be vacated also states that cellphone tower data placing him near Lee’s body were unreliable.

Syed has always maintained his innocence and will now be released from prison while prosecutors decide whether they want to try him again.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle, entertainment and news, and self-focused content, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.