Adnan Syed's Family Talks About the Toll of 'Serial'

"We're excited and we have a little hope," they tell PEOPLE

Adnan Syed. Photo: Courtesy of Yusuf Syed/AP Photo

New details from NPR’s Serial sensation. Subscribe now to read how key players cast doubt on the 16-year-old case, in this issue of PEOPLE.

It has been less than a month since the Serial podcast aired its last episode about the 1999 murder of Hae Min Lee, the high school ex-girlfriend of Adnan Syed, now 34, who was convicted and given a life sentence.

Syed’s family, who lives in the same Baltimore home where he grew up as a teen, has spent nearly 15 years trying to clear his name of the brutal murder that ended with Lee strangled and buried in a wooded park.

In a last ditch effort, Syed’s family reached out to reporter Sarah Keonig in hopes of finding out who really killed Lee.

“We’re excited and we have a little hope,” Syed’s mother, Shamim Rahman, tells PEOPLE at her home. “We can just pray. We know he didn’t do it. Somebody else did it.”

Since the show aired in October and became one of the most downloaded podcasts in iTunes history – more than five million times – the case has turned its followers into Internet sleuths.

It seemed everyone was talking about the case, especially after the state’s then-prosecutor Kevin Urick and star witness Jay Wilds finally shared their side of the story two weeks ago.

Everyone has a theory about what happened, including Syed’s younger brother Yusuf.

“I think Jay knows what happened,” he says. “He’s involved and he’s covering for someone.”

For more details about the case, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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