What You Need To Know About Alonzo Sellers Before Watching 'The Case Against Adnan Syed'


Five years after Serial ignited national attention surrounding the 1999 murder case of Hae Min Lee, HBO's The Case Against Adnan Syed is picking up the torch. The new docuseries, which premiered earlier this month, catches up with many key figures from the podcast, but also leaves a few out. For example, where Alonso Sellers is now is unclear, though he is mentioned in the show.

Sellers, referred to only as Mr. S in the Serial podcast, claimed that he found Lee's body in Leakin Park during a drive to work. He said he realized that he had to urinate, and pulled over to the side of the road to do so — which is when he apparently discovered Lee's mostly-buried body and called the police. "I walked around through the bushes and everything and I got back that way and I was getting ready to urinate when I looked down I seen something that looked like hair, something was covered by the dirt. And I looked real good again, and that's when I seen what looked like a foot," he said in an interview featured in The Case Against Adnan Syed, per Oxygen.

Some people, however, have voiced skepticism about Sellers and his account, though as noted by Oxygen and discussed on the Serial podcast, he passed a polygraph test and was cleared as a suspect in Lee's murder. For one thing, according to the District Court of Maryland, Sellers has a checkered past. Prior to finding Lee's body, he was charged with trespassing on posted property, as well as several instances of indecent exposure. In fact, he's been charged with indecent exposure as recently as 2015.

Secondly, Serial host Sarah Koenig initially said she thought it was odd how far he walked from the road, but after going to the spot where Sellers found the body, she changed her opinion. She explained that the body was "nearly impossible to spot" in photographs of the crime scene because it blended in with the wooded surrounding, but considering she could still see cars from the road, Sellers' account made sense to her. "127 feet doesn't seem that far back if you're looking for privacy," Koenig said on Serial.

She added that she, "didn't really think, 'Oh, maybe [Sellers] did it. Maybe he killed Hae,' but I did wonder if maybe he'd heard something about the crime and about where she was buried, because it did seem a tad unbelievable to me that he spotted her the way he said he did."

Rabia Chaudry, Syed's childhood friend who introduced the case to Koenig, has also voiced skepticism about Sellers. "[A] vital thing to understand about how Alonzo Sellers 'found' the body is that he was driving on the OPPOSITE side of the road from [the] body, crossed the street, [and] walked 120 ft into heavy brush in winter to 'take a leak' when he was less than a mile from work," she recently tweeted.

Sellers hasn't spoken publicly about the case since Serial and it's unclear where he is today, but now that his name is in the spotlight again, perhaps he'll resurface.