A teenager is found murdered by his girlfriend, and the prime suspect is the rival for her affections.
Weight: 160 lbs. approx.
Early in the morning of August 9, 1989, Christie Mutzfeld arrived at the home of her boyfriend, only to flee in terror moments later:
“I saw him laying on the floor, and I screamed his name, and I could see just by looking at him that something was very wrong, wasn’t right.”
Christie’s boyfriend, Todd Kelley, was dead. He had been stabbed seven times in the chest, back, and wrist. Christie was in shock. Just hours earlier, the two lovers had been here together.
Todd was found stabbed to death
When Hamilton, Indiana, investigators questioned Christie, they learned that she was at the center of a love triangle. She had been involved with both Todd and another man. Christy’s other lover was now the prime suspect in Todd’s murder.
Christie had met Todd during their junior year in high school. According to Christie, it was love at first sight, especially for Todd:
“After graduation, he asked me to marry him, and I guess I said no. I really wasn’t ready. I thought there were other things I really wanted to do right, and that’s pretty much where we broke it off, right there.”
The next fall, Christie enrolled in a small college just seven miles from Hamilton. She said she soon began dating a student named Mahfuz Huq:
“He was very outgoing, very energetic. He was interested in what I had to say, and he was interested in what I thought and what I believed in.”
A blood stain was found in the bedroom
But Mahfuz was not what he seemed to be. Shortly after he met Christie, he was arrested for three separate robberies. In one of them, he stole $100,000 worth of jewelry from his own aunt. Christie said his personality changed after the incident:
“After he was arrested and put under house arrest, he became very possessive. He said that if he ever saw me with anybody else that he would probably kill them and then kill me.”
A few months later, Christie rekindled her romance with Todd. But Mahfuz, who lived nearby, didn’t back off. The day before the murder, Todd was at the home of a friend, Mike Kuhn, when Mahfuz showed up unexpectedly:
“Mahfuz asked Todd if he was going to quit seeing her. And Todd told him no. Their voices were never raised or anything like that. They shook hands, I mean. And, really, it just seemed like it was pretty much all over and done with, you know?”
Christie Mutzfeld and Todd Kelly
Thirty-six hours later, Todd was dead, and his house was swarming with police. Authorities determined that he was murdered at around 3:15 a.m. Investigators immediately noticed that the crime scene had been tampered with.
According to Steuben County, Indiana, Sheriff L.M. McClelland, Todd’s body had been cleaned up, and then moved into the living room from another part of the house:
“Upon further checking of the house, we noticed there were no sheets on the bed in the bedroom. We also discovered a spot where there was blood on the floor in the bedroom. It was very hard to find this at first because it had been wiped clean.”
Mahfuz had previously been arrested for robbery
In the yard, police found several cigarette butts that matched the brand smoked by Mahfuz. He became their prime suspect, but he was no where to be found. Two eyewitnesses told police they had seen Mahfuz between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. on the night of the murder. He had been walking barefoot in the direction of Todd’s house. Christie said that at that very same moment, she and Todd were together inside:
“When we were in bed, I heard noises outside. I really thought that something was outside. And Todd said it was probably just a dog, ’cause he had a dog tied up out back. He said it was nothing to worry about. It was getting kind of late, and I told him I had to go home, ’cause I hadn’t really been home in quite a while, and I knew my father would be upset, so we left. He said he was going to stay up all night and he wanted to get something to drink.”
Christie says that at 2:30 a.m., she and Todd drove into town. She believes Mahfuz entered the house while they were gone:
“We drove back to his house and said goodbye in the car, and he gave me a kiss.”
Christie says she dropped Todd back at his house right around 3 a.m. The coroner determined that he was murdered just 15 minutes later. At 4:30 a.m., Mahfuz called Christie from his parents’ house, 10 miles away. Two hours later, he showed up in her bedroom. According to Christie, she broke off their relationship for good, not knowing what he had done:
“It kind of scared me, the tone of voice he had. I said, ‘Excuse me?’ He said, ‘I hope you have a happy life,’ and then he walked out.
At first glance, it seemed like an open and shut case. Mahfuz Huq had murdered Todd Kelley in a fit of jealous rage, and fled. But Todd Kelley’s family noticed some inconsistencies in Christie’s story. Vernon Kelley, Todd’s father, thinks she knows more than she’s saying:
“According to all the evidence that we have dug up and the evidence the police have, there is no way that she was not there. She had to be there during the murder. When Todd and Christie returned home, they probably started making love, and Mahfuz waited in the bushes. When he saw what was happening, that’s when his jealousy took over and he could no longer control himself and decided to finish the act. When Christie said she heard the noise, it was Mahfuz coming in the door. I do believe at that point, Mahfuz convinced her to help him cover up the murder.”
Christie has said that the accusation is just not true:
“I don’t know why they want to blame me. I mean, I know Todd and I had our hardships and I hurt him and he hurt me.”
The idea that Christie was involved hasn’t been given much credence by Sheriff McClelland:
“The possibility of an accomplice is pure speculation at this point in time. There’s no hard evidence.”
Todd’s father thinks Mahfuz had to have help:
“It amazes me how a man could, alone, clean up that entire room, clean up the entire mess he had made, move the body, entirely clean the body, and also walk all the way back home in the amount of time that they had reported receiving another phone call. He had to have some help.”
The Kelley family believes that Christie gave Mahfuz a ride home. They also question her statement about what happened when she returned to Todd’s house at seven that morning. Sheriff McClelland said that Christy claims she did not immediately notice Todd’s body when she returned, even though it was lying right by the front door:
“We’re not accusing Christie. The only problem is that we feel there’s some inconsistencies in the things that she has told us. We’ve asked Christie for a polygraph examination, and she has refused to do that.”
Christie maintains that she’s been maligned:
“Todd’s family, they’ve been very hard on me from the beginning. They harass me, they accuse me, unjustly accuse me of everything. They wouldn’t even let me go to his funeral. I realize they’re hurting, and I don’t think that they realize that I’m hurting, too.”
Mahfuz Huq was finally arrested in India and was extradited to the United States. Huq pleaded guilty to the murder of Todd Kelley, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season five with Robert Stack and in season three with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.