Stephen Smith death probe: South Carolina law enforcement says ‘progress has been made’
South Carolina officials announced Wednesday that “progress has been made” in the investigation into the slaying of Stephen Smith, a former classmate of Buster Murdaugh’s, who was found dead on a rural road in Hampton County.
Pathologist Erin Presnell determined that Smith died in July 2015 in a hit-and-run just miles from the Murdaugh family’s hunting property known as Moseley. Smith was widely rumored to be the lover of Alex Murdaugh’s son Buster.
gave South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) opened a homicide investigation into Smith’s death on June 23, 2021 – nearly two weeks after Alex Murdaugh shot and killed his wife Maggie, 52, and his son, 22.
“SLED agents received information about his death and subsequently evaluated SCHP. [South Carolina Highway Patrol] investigation file,” according to a press release issued Wednesday. “It was apparent that the SCHP did not believe that Mr. Smith had died as a result of a motor vehicle collision.”
Stephen Smith’s mother sent a letter to the FBI accusing him of murder in 2016
The investigation was never closed and “the homicide remains under investigation,” according to the statement. “Progress has been made, and SLED’s investigation is active and ongoing.”
The nature of the release was not disclosed. SLED Chief Mark Kell has assigned additional agents to work on the case with the hope that “people who may know what happened to Mr. Smith will be freer now than in 2015 or 2021.” ready to talk.”
Alex Murdaugh: A timeline of the spectacular fall of a once-powerful South Carolina lawyer
Alex Murdaugh was the family of a once powerful legal family in the Lowcountry. Life sentence In jail for murdering his wife and son earlier this month.
The Murdaugh name once wielded great influence in the region before the family’s mounting scandals eroded their influence.
The release from SLED, an agency that rarely makes public statements, came a day after new attorneys for Smith’s mother, Sandy Smith, issued their own press release.
Lawyers Eric Bland and Ronnie Richter announced. In what they described as an “extraordinary” phone call, Cal told them that “Stephen Smith’s death is now being treated as a homicide.”
The release called it a “shocking” revelation “after eight years of highway vehicle carnage.”
Murdaugh fault: Lawyers for Stephen Smith’s family ‘don’t accept’ actual cause of death
Sandy Smith has fought tirelessly for justice for her son who she believes was murdered and has blamed the Murdo family.
Her son was found dead nearly a decade ago, three miles from her car on Sandy Run Road, which had run out of gas.
Former South Carolina State Trooper Todd Proctor, who led the initial investigation into Smith’s death, previously told Fox News there was no evidence pointing to a hit-and-run.
“It seemed like it was more staged,” he said.
There were no tire marks on the road, and Smith didn’t have any scratches that would indicate he’d slipped on the asphalt.
In a 2016 letter to the FBI requesting help, Sandy Smith wrote that she suspected her son was having an affair with Buster. A man, who claimed to have witnessed the murder, allegedly told his family that Buster had beaten his son with a baseball bat.
Alex Murdaugh culpable: Death of Buster Murdaugh’s high school classmate back in spotlight after verdict
Buster, 26, released a statement through his attorney on Monday denying any role in Stephen Smith’s death.
He said that these baseless rumors of my involvement in Stephen’s death are false. “My heart goes out to the Smith family.”
Anyone with information about Stephen Smith’s death is asked to contact SLED and investigative services at 803-737-9000. Tips can also be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to get the Fox News app.
Mike Ruiz and Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.