Teenage boy’s body to be exhumed following Alex Murdaugh murders, family say
The mother of a 19-year-old who was mysteriously found dead on a South Carolina road in 2015 has said she intends to have his body exhumed, the announcement following an announcement by the State law enforcement officials reopening their investigation into his death following the Alex Murdaugh murders.
Stephen Smith’s mother announced plans to exhume her son’s body for further examination in a GoFundMe account set up earlier this month.
“We need a new, unbiased look at his body and an accurate determination of the cause of his death based on facts. There was no debris on the road and his injuries were not consistent with a hit-and-run,” says the fundraising page, which as of Sunday had raised nearly $46,000 towards its goal. initial.
The decision follows the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announcing in 2021 that it would reopen its investigation into Smith’s death due to new information it gathered during the double murder investigation. by Paul and Maggie Murdaugh the same year.
The mother and son were found fatally shot in June 2021 on their Colleton County hunting property, not far from where Smith’s body was found six years earlier in Hampton County. The family’s prominent patriarch, Alex Murdaugh, was convicted of the murders last month.
SLED, which did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on Sunday, declined to provide details of its decision when it was made by CNN.
“SLED has made progress in the investigation into the death of Stephen Smith,” the agency said. “However, this investigation remains active and ongoing.”
Smith was found lying on a road on July 8, 2015, with blunt force trauma to the head. He was about three miles from his car, which was found abandoned with its gas tank open, authorities said at the time.
First responders at the scene believed his head injury may have been from a possible gunshot wound, but the coroner’s office ultimately ruled his death a hit-and-run, despite several investigators dismissing that theory, according to copies of their testimony obtained by the Spartanburg station WSPA.
“I saw no vehicle debris, skid marks, or injuries consistent with someone being struck by a vehicle,” an investigator wrote, according to the station. “After consulting the [Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team]we see no evidence to suggest the victim was hit by a vehicle.
For years after his death, reports also came in that linked Smith to the Murdaugh family, the Greenville News reported.
Smith’s mother, Sandy Smith, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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