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The S.C. Law Enforcement Division on Tuesday reopened the investigation into the 2015 death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith based on information gathered during the Murdaugh double homicide investigation, a SLED spokesperson confirmed.
In the wake of the June 7 murders of Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mother, Maggie, 52, rumors have swirled about the possibility of the Murdaugh family’s connection to Smith’s death.
SLED’s reopened investigation was first reported by FITSNews Tuesday evening.
Smith’s body was found on July 8, 2015, on Sandy Run Road, near Hampton.
Investigators reported he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident, despite police reports showing no evidence of that.
Sandy Smith, the young man’s mother, previously told The State Media Co. in 2019 that the boat crash that killed Mallory Beach and implicated Paul Murdaugh brought renewed focus to her son’s death. But some questions may never be answered, she said.
“There would never be justice for Stephen in Hampton County,” she told The State.
In 2019, the Murdaugh family declined to comment on discussions about their family posted to social media, calling it “an outlet for unfortunate fabrications and unfounded comments based not on fact but based on speculation.”
There have been no official statements linking the Murdaugh family to Smith’s death, but SLED’s decision to reopen the case raises questions about the family’s connection to the incident.