INDIANAPOLIS — An Indy man is sentenced to 52 years in prison for murdering his 10-year-old son.

The punishment, which was just 3 years less than the maximum sentence, comes after the suspect pleaded guilty but mentally ill last month.

The sentence brings a close to the criminal case after more than three years of delays and waiting for justice.

Since July 2020, 10-year-old Nakota Kelly has been missing and presumed dead.

Despite extensive search efforts that summer, Nakota’s body has never been recovered.

“It’s been hard living without him and it’s going to continue to be hard,” said the victim’s mother Hayley Kelly.

As part of a plea agreement last month, 40-year-old Anthony Dibiah admitted in court to killing his own son.

Police claim the suspect confessed to suffocating the boy at his apartment, before dismembering and disposing of the body.

By pleading guilty but mentally ill, Dibiah will be sent to prison where he could receive some mental health treatment.

“We knew this is where it was going. Of course he was mentally ill.  Not only did he kill him but he cut him up,” said the victim’s grandmother Debbie Bogue.

According to court records, just days before the murder, Nakota predicted he would be killed by his father during a court-ordered weekend visit because he said his dad was angry with him.

During sentencing, the suspect told the judge he was sorry for what he did, but to this day he has never revealed where he hid his son’s body.

“If he has any remorse, he would tell me where my son is,” said Kelly.

“I think Hayley has accepted that she’ll never know. They have a grave site, but she’s always going to wonder and she deserves that to have some closure,” said Bogue.

In addition to the criminal case, a civil lawsuit filed by the boy’s mother against the Indiana Department of Child Services is still pending.

The lawsuit claims the department shares responsibility for the death by ignoring red flags in the case.