The Murdaugh killings happened in Islandton, SC. What we know about the community

·2 min read

Islandton, South Carolina: Population 64.

From its name, this community in rural Colleton County (spitting distance from Hampton County in the Lowcountry) sounds like one of the state’s award-winning beach towns.

Well... not so much.

Google searches have put the community of Islandton in the spotlight since Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mother Maggie, 52, were found shot to death outside their Islandton home on June 7.

Here’s what we know about Islandton

It’s recognized as a census-designated place.

Islandton has a post office and a ZIP code (29929), though that also includes other unincorporated communities nearby.

Fewer than 70 people lived in Islandton in 2018, one census database said, and all of them were white. The median age was 48.5 years, and the median household income was $59,231.

Although its name implies a town with beachfront views, it’s quite remote — and not boatable, although the Salkehatchie River is a few miles away. The community of 2.77 square miles has farmland, a few businesses, and homes — ranging from mobile homes to estates hidden behind rows of trees. It’s more than an hour’s drive from both Charleston and Hilton Head Island.

Islandton, SC, on a Google map.
Islandton, SC, on a Google map.

S.C. Highway 63 passes through, connecting Varnville and Walterboro, two larger towns in this rural part of the state.

The Murdaugh home, a hunting lodge known by locals as “Moselle,” is on Moselle Road in Islandton.

On Thursday, a worker was posting “KEEP OUT” signs in the ground and erecting a metal gate in front of the entrance to the family’s home.

He said the gate was for privacy because people had been trying to come onto the property uninvited.

A worker was installing a metal gate at the entrance of the Murdaugh family home in Islandton, SC. He said it was for privacy because people had been trying to get on the property.
A worker was installing a metal gate at the entrance of the Murdaugh family home in Islandton, SC. He said it was for privacy because people had been trying to get on the property.
A “KEEP OUT” sign freshly put in the grass outside of the Murdaugh home in Colleton County.
A “KEEP OUT” sign freshly put in the grass outside of the Murdaugh home in Colleton County.

More than 1,770 acres of property are under Maggie Murdaugh’s name, according to Colleton County property records. The land spans both Colleton and Hampton counties, with about 870 acres in Hampton and just less than 900 acres in Colleton.

A 174-acre parcel on the Colleton side has two buildings, one one-story single family home and one two-story single family home. Several smaller buildings, sheds and a dog kennel, also sit on the property.

A 2014 aerial photograph shows property in Islandton, South Carolina, in Colleton County on Moselle Road. Property records list Margaret B. Murdaugh as the owner of more than 1,770 acres in the area, on the border of Hampton and Colleton counties.
A 2014 aerial photograph shows property in Islandton, South Carolina, in Colleton County on Moselle Road. Property records list Margaret B. Murdaugh as the owner of more than 1,770 acres in the area, on the border of Hampton and Colleton counties.
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