Here’s how Hae Min Lee’s family feels about Adnan Syed’s new trial

If you’ve listened to Season 1 of Serial, the viral podcast hosted by former This American Life producer Sarah Koenig, then you probably fell into a search spiral and now know everything there is to know about the murder case surrounding Adnan Syed and the late Hae Min Lee, Syed’s former girlfriend.

Though, Koenig talked extensively about Lee, even reading excerpts from her diary that had been made publicly available, understandably, no one from her family participated in the making of the show. After all, this drudging up of details surrounding Lee’s 1999 murder has to be incredibly painful for them. But in light of this week’s Baltimore Circuit Court hearing to determine whether Syed will get a new case, the Lee family briefly broke their silence to set the record straight.

In a statement made via Deputy Maryland Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah, the prosecutor in the hearing, the Lee family said a new trial would force them to “to relive a nightmare we thought was behind us.”

“Our family has lived without a heart for over 17 years,” the statement continued. “And we continue to grieve every day in private.”

While the Lee family will not appear in court for now, they wanted to let the public know that they still believe that Adnan Syed is guilty of killing Hae Min and deserves his sentence of life imprisonment plus 30 years.

“We believe justice was done when Adnan was convicted in 2000, and we look forward to bringing this chapter to an end so we can celebrate the memory of Hae instead of celebrating the man who killed her,” reads the statement.

The three-day hearing, which comes to an end tomorrow, will determine whether there is enough evidence—including a statement from a former classmate who claims to have seen Syed in the library at the time of Lee’s murder—to give the now-34-year-old prisoner another chance to prove his innocence.

As interesting as these new developments are, especially for Serial fans, this statement from the Lee family serves as a stark reminder that while we want justice for everyone involved, we can’t forget that Hae Min Lee and her family aren’t storybook characters. They’re real people who suffered a devastating loss.