Arrest Made in 1982 Murder Case in Richmond County: Forty-one years ago a woman was shot and killed during an armed robbery at a business in Richmond County.  Today, investigators say they have made…

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SLED Reopens Investigation into Stephen Smith Death in 2015

Law enforcement officials in Hampton County, South Carolina said 19-year-old Stephen Smith was the victim of a hit-and-run in 2015.  Now, eight years after his death, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division says his death has been ruled a homicide.

Smith’s body was found on a roadside, a short distance from Alex and Maggie Murdaugh’s Moselle Estate in July, 2015.

Questions were raised then about the cause of Smith’s death, but the case was never solved.  Questions arose again during the investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh in 2021.  Authorities say they found new evidence connected to Smith’s death and reopened the case.

Smith’s mother, Sandy, recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to get the money needed to have her son’s body exhumed for an independent autopsy and investigation.

“SLED officials have revealed that they did not need to exhume Stephen Smith’s body to convince them that his death was a homicide,” said Sandy Smith’s attorneys, Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter.

Rumors surfaced years ago that Murdaugh’s oldest son, Buster, was romantically linked to Stephen Smith, who was openly gay.

Earlier this week, Buster Murdaugh issued a statement, “unequivocally denying vicious rumors” that he was involved in Smith’s murder.

SLED has agreed to have Smith’s body exhumed to gather more information as part of the homicide investigation.

“We have a chance to right eight years of wrongs and we intend to do just that,” said Bland.