Family of Stephen Smith, who was found dead not far from Murdaugh home, raises money for exhumation and autopsy

The body of Stephen Smith, who died on a country road not far from his Murdo home, is to be exhumed, his family announced Friday.

On March 9, her mother, Sandy Smith, opened a GoFundMe page to raise money to exhume the body and conduct an independent autopsy amid questions raised during the investigation into her 2015 death. The Murders of the Magi and Paul Murdaugh. A jury found for the former attorney Alex Murdo guilty of killing his wife and son in his country estate on March 2, 2021.

During A double murder investigationState police said they found new evidence about Smith’s death. Police reopened the case in June 2021 to further investigate how the 19-year-old was killed.

Smith was found dead on a South Carolina road in the early hours of the morning “from blunt force trauma to the head,” “48 Hours” reported. Her yellow Chevy was found about three miles away, with her wallet inside and the car’s gas cap open. State police previously said Smith had car trouble, was on foot for help, and crashed into a car, “48 Hours” reported.

Audio that state police listened to showed that some officers disagreed that “nothing looks like a car accident,” as one officer was heard saying, for “48 hours.” Reported. University of South Carolina law professor Seth Stoughton said no headlights were broken, and Smith was found still with his shoes on — a rare outcome for victims of car accidents.

“It certainly raises questions about whether a hit-and-run is the right outcome,” Stoughton told “48 Hours.”

Smith’s family believes he was murdered. His mother wants an independent determination of the cause of his death. In South Carolina, next of kin Can apply for a permit. exhume a body.

“We need to take a fresh, unbiased look at his body and make an accurate cause of death based on the facts. There was no debris in the road, and his injuries were not consistent with a hit-and-run.” Smith wrote. A website dedicated to raising money for the effort.

An independent autopsy costs about $7,000 and a medical examiner costs about $750 an hour, Smith said. Private autopsy firms advertise exhumation autopsy costs online. From $3,000 To $6,500

The fundraising page raised $44,140, ​​nearly triple its original goal of $15,000.

“The family of Stephen N. Smith is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received for Stephen and the community as a whole. You have been monumental in shining a light on Stephen’s story and the lack of justice.” Written by mom Sandy Smith.

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