The mother of Buster Murdaugh’s high school classmate, Stephen Smith, who died in 2015 just miles from Alex Murdaugh’s South Carolina hunting property, said she has raised enough money to exhume her son’s body.
The 19-year-old was killed in what police initially described as a hit-and-run not far from the Murdaughs’ Islandton hunting property called Moselle, where Alex fatally shot his wife, Maggie, and his youngest son, Paul, on June 7, 2021.
“We feel it’s critical to seek a new goal — an independent exhumation and autopsy — and we’re launching Justice for Stephen N. Smith with that immediate goal in mind,” Smith’s mother, Sandy Smith, wrote on a GoFundMe page titled “Independent Exhumation and Autopsy” that raised more than $40,000.
Smith recently told WYFF that the funds were enough to move forward with an exhumation.
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“They said he was shot in the head. And then it turned out it was a hit-and-run and then he was beat up, so the story just kept changing,” Smith told the outlet. “…When they told me hit-and-run, I said, ‘That’s impossible,’ because Stephen wouldn’t have been walking down the road. … He would’ve cut through the woods.”
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In a Thursday update to her GoFundMe page, Smith said her family “will pursue the exhumation immediately and provide updates along the way.”
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has reopened an investigation into Stephen Smith’s death.
“SLED has made progress in the death investigation of Stephen Smith, however this investigation remains active and ongoing,” the agency told Fox News Digital in a statement.
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Attorney Eric Bland, who represents the children of the Murdaughs’ late housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield — who died at the Murdaugh’s Moselle home in an apparent 2018 fall — described the Murdaugh family’s “long-rumored involvement” in Smith’s death on “Fox & Friends” earlier this month.
“He was found in the middle of a country road in Hampton County, and… the highway department said he was hit by a car, but there was no broken glass, no car parts,” Bland told co-host Pete Hegseth. “His clothes were intact, his shoes were on, and he had… a clear head trauma injury that looked like it was done by something other than a car.”
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Alex Murdaugh “supposedly showed up on the accident scene, and according to [Smith’s mother, Sandy], she received a telephone call from him where he offered to represent her, and she was very confused as to why she would need representation,” Bland continued.
Prosecutors say Murdaugh secured $4.3 million in insurance settlements for Satterfield’s family after her death, but the former attorney kept the money for himself, never alerting the family that he had secured a payout.
On March 2, a Colleton County jury found Murdaugh guilty in the 2021 murders of his wife and son at Moselle, prompting suspicion about Smith’s mysterious death.
Prosecutors say the disgraced lawyer killed his wife and son in an effort to divert attention away from his mounting alleged financial crimes.