Alonzo Sellers, aka “Mr. S.,” is the man who found Hae Min Lee’s body in 1999, after she had been murdered. Adnan Syed has since been convicted of Lee’s murder, and is in jail to this day serving out his sentence. However, questions around Syed’s guilt became a national conversation as a result of the 2014 podcast Serial, and they only grow in scope with the new HBO documentary The Case Against Adnan Syed, which reveals the identity of the mysterious “Mr. S.”
On Serial, “Mr. S.” claimed to have found Lee’s body when he pulled his car over and walked into the woods to urinate. However, Syed family friend and lawyer Rabia Chaudry (among others) has pointed out that he would’ve had to walk over 100 feet into the woods through heavy brush to get to where Lee’s body was found.
Here’s what you need to know about Alonzo Sellers, aka “Mr. S.”:
Sellers Has a Lengthy Criminal Record, Including Indecent Exposure
According to his criminal record, Sellers has run into trouble with the law on a number of occasions. He’s been charged with indecent exposure more than once, most recently in 2015. He was also charged with trespassing on private property at one point as well. You can see his full record in the state of Maryland here.
It’s difficult to find photos of Sellers online; however, his criminal record notes that he is African-American, though it doesn’t provide details like height or weight. Additionally, court documents reveal that his full name is “Alonzo Novok Sellers.”
Sellers’ court appearance is revealed at one point in HBO’s The Case Against Adnan Syed.
Sellers’ Account of How He Found Lee Has Been Met With Doubt, From Serial’s Sarah Keonig & Rabia Chaudry
Sellers’ account of how he found Lee was driven by his narrative that he had to urinate, and therefore walked into the woods after he pulled over his car, in order to get privacy. Court documents further note that an officer first received information about “a body in the woods located within Leakin Park” through a call from Sellers on February 9, 1999.
At one point in the podcast, Koenig notes that “127 feet doesn’t seem that far back if you’re looking for privacy,” and that though she didn’t necessary disbelieve his story, it did provoke a little doubt. She said, “[I] 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.”
Similarly, Chaudry wrote in a Twitter thread about the Syed case in March, “Vital thing to understand about how Alonzo Sellers ‘found’ the body is that he was driving on the OPPOSITE side of the road from body, crossed the street, walked 120 ft into heavy brush in winter to ‘take a leak’ when he was less than a mile from work”
Many Twitter users have echoed those doubts, since the HBO series first premiered. One Twitter user wrote, “Watching the 1st half of
#TheCaseAgainstAdnanSyed for the first time, last night, fresh. Haven’t heard a thing about the case or listened to Serial at all. That said: Alonzo Sellers is guilty of something. That’s obvious.”
Another user wrote, “It is obvious Alonzo Sellers did not ‘stumble’ on the body. If he did not kill her, how do you really think he knew where she was buried?”