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Indiana

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Suspects to stand trial 10 years later

– Relatives of two men shot in a northwest Indiana city say they’re still waiting for justice 10 years after their violent deaths.

Sunday marked a decade since 24-year-old Jason Janek and 27-year-old Kevin Abul-Husn whose bodies were found, shot in the head and wrapped in plastic, in Janek’s truck in an alley in East Chicago.

Police believe the men were killed in the basement of a bar in nearby Whiting in a dispute over money on May 23, 2004.

Four men were charged in connection with the double slaying, but no one has ever stood trial.

“We are literally in the same spot that we were in 10 years ago,” Janek’s sister Kymberli Janek told The Times. “It’s all the same exact evidence we had that day.”

Lake County prosecutors filed murder charges in 2010 against Alfonso M. Chavez, 39; Eric S. Valdivia, 39; and Melecio Maravilla, 38. Mark A. Chavez, 37, was charged with assisting a criminal.

Alfonso Chavez was arrested but the charges against him were dropped before his trial was scheduled in 2012. A court order at the time said the charges could be filed again later.

U.S. Marshals arrested Valdivia in Mexico in 2010, but he was released after Mexican authorities intervened.

Maravilla remains at large, and charges against Mark Chavez were dismissed in 2012 after key witness statements were thrown out as hearsay.

Murder charges against Valdivia and Maravilla were pending in Lake County Criminal Court as of Friday. Lake County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Patti Van Til said the two are believed to be in Mexico.

Janek said her family hasn’t given up hope that someone will eventually “slip up” and the suspects will be convicted.

“I really think that someone will pay for this. But it should have been 10 years ago,” she said.

The Janek and Abul-Husn families are offering a $25,000 reward for the arrest and convictions of Valdivia and Maravilla.

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