More Murdaugh Murders? Dead Teen Found Near Murdaugh Home Now a Homicide Case
In early March, once-prominent South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife Maggie
In early March, once-prominent South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife Maggie (52) and their son Paul (22).
But now, it seems the internet is convinced that there may be another murder in the family closet.
In 2015, a teen was found dead on a road near the Murdaugh home. At the time, his death was ruled a hit-and-run. Now, however, investigations into the Murdaugh murder case have apparently unearthed some information that has caused them to reclassify the teen’s death as a homicide.
And the internet rumors suggest a Murdaugh may be involved.
Stephen Smith’s Parents Always Suspected Murder
There have been rumors that Alex Murdaugh’s son Buster is linked to the death of a former classmate. We spoke with the attorney of Stephen Smith’s family about why they don’t believe the original police report: pic.twitter.com/pwEE8miwVW
— TMZ Live (@TMZLive) March 22, 2023
When Stephen Smith was found dead, investigators said it was an accident. But his parents weren’t convinced.
The Washington Post reports, “Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old nursing student, was found dead on a desolate road in Hampton County, S.C., in July 2015, in what was reported at the time to be a hit-and-run. His body was found about 15 miles away from Moselle, the sprawling hunting estate in Islandton, S.C., owned by the Murdaugh family.
As the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) investigated the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, the agency said in 2021 that it was opening a probe into Smith’s death based on new information found during the Murdaugh inquiry.”
Officials have not said what the information was, or whether or not it connects Smith’s death to the Murdaugh family.
However, Smith’s family has always believed there was more to the story.
Early in the morning on July 8, 2015, police responded to a 911 call reporting a dead body lying on the road. Authorities found a deep hole in Smith’s head, along with a “defensive wound” on his hand. Initially, they believed they had found a victim of homicide.
But just hours later, suddenly his death was classified as “blunt head trauma sustained in a motor vehicle crash.”
Smith’s family didn’t believe the determination, and began pushing for police to look more thoroughly into his death. In 2021, an investigation into his death was opened, “based upon information gathered during the course of the double murder investigation of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.” The Murdaugh family was mentioned multiple times in reports about Smith’s death.
Smith’s family has been able to successfully launch a GoFundMe to cover the cost of exhuming Smith’s body and performing a new autopsy.
After news broke that her son’s death was being reclassified as a homicide, Smith’s mom told Hampton County Guardian that she had “been waiting on this news for almost 8 years!”
“I’m in shock, I’m elated,” she said, “I’m waiting for the next chapter!”
Police Have Been Eyeing Buster Murdaugh for Awhile – But Buster Denies Any Involvement
— Jim Griffin (@lawyergriffin) March 20, 2023
Rumors have tried to connect the Murdaugh’s living son, Buster, to Smith’s death because they were classmates.
Police who responded to Smith’s death say that they believed pretty quickly that they were witnessing the aftermath of a murder. Either that he had been killed there, or that he had been killed elsewhere and dumped there.
And Buster Murdaugh’s name being mentioned multiple times by witnesses and those involved in the case is no surprise to anyone involved, apparently.
New York Post reports, “‘Buster was on our radar,’ then-Trooper Todd Proctor told one witness during an interview in the case. ‘The Murdaughs know that,’ he said.
… Officials have been mum on what new information emerged, and CNN said police reports did not elaborate on why Buster was on the ‘radar.’
His now-deceased brother’s ex-girlfriend, Morgan Doughty, 23, recently told a Netflix doc that ‘there were so many rumors swirling around that Buster and Stephen were intimate together.’
‘Being gay in the Murdaugh family would have been looked down upon,’ said Doughty, who was close to the whole family.”
But Buster has come out swinging over rumors that he was involved with Smith either intimately or in his death.
This week, 27-year-old Buster released a statement through his lawyer Jim Griffin which read in part, “I have tried my best to ignore the vicious rumors about my involvement in Stephen Smith’s tragic death that continue to be published in the media as I grieve over the brutal murders of my mother and brother,” he added, “I love them so much and miss them terribly,”
The statement included, “I haven’t spoken up until now because I want to live in private while I cope with their deaths and my father’s incarceration. This has gone on far too long. These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false. I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family. I am requesting that the media immediately stop publishing these defamatory comments and rumors about me.”
When speaking with TMZ this week, the Smith family lawyers are steering clear of any suggestion that Buster is involved – and they’re sticking by only the facts they have now.
While it’s clear that there’s some smoke around Buster’s alleged involvement, they’re not shouting, “fire” yet.
Washington Post writes, “‘Our involvement in, our participation in this case, has nothing to do with Buster Murdaugh,’ [lawyers for the Smith family] told NewsNation on Tuesday night. ‘It does have everything to do with finding the ultimate truth and seeking the truth without regard to who’s involved.’”
Regardless of where the truth leads, the Smith family is finally on the verge of the closure they’ve been denied for 8 long years.