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Mother Of Teen Involved In Hit-And-Run To Have Body Exhumed As Baseless Rumors Connect Death To Murdaugh Family

  The body of a South Carolina teenager found on a rural road in 2015 will be exhumed after the teen’s mother raised the funds to do so. Ste...

 The body of a South Carolina teenager found on a rural road in 2015 will be exhumed after the teen’s mother raised the funds to do so.

Stephen Smith was the alleged victim of a hit-and-run in 2015, years before the Murdaugh family housekeeper died after falling down some stairs and before Paul Murdaugh drunkenly drove a boat that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. No one knows exactly how Smith died, but some in the community claimed that Paul and his older brother Buster had been behind Smith’s death.

Multiple documentaries about Alex Murdaugh and the deaths connected to his family, including the June 2021 murders of Paul and his mother Maggie, have included rumors that Buster and Paul were somehow responsible for Smith’s death. Yet, no actual evidence exists to connect them. Following the news that Smith’s body would be exhumed, Buster Murdaugh released a statement through his attorney Jim Griffin denying any involvement in Smith’s death:

I have tried my best to ignore the vicious rumors about my involvement in Stephen Smith’s tragic death that continue to be published in the media as I grieve over the brutal murders of my mother and brother. I love them so much and miss them terribly.

I haven’t spoken up until now because I want to live in private while I cope with their deaths and my father’s incarceration.

Before, during and since my father’s trial, I have been targeted and harassed by the media and followers of this story. This has gone on far too long. These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false. I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family.

I am requesting that the media immediately stop publishing these defamatory comments and rumors about me.

Sandy Smith, Stephen’s mother, raised more than $43,000 on GoFundMe to have her son’s body exhumed, thanking supporters for “not allowing Stephen’s story to be swept under a rug,” according to NBC.


Buster’s father, Alex Murdaugh, is currently serving two consecutive life sentences for the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh. Smith’s death is currently unsolved.

Investigators initially said in 2015 that Smith apparently was hit by a vehicle and killed while standing near his own car on the side of the road after apparently running out of gas. An investigator’s report obtained by The Island Packet initially said Smith had a “defensive wound” on his hand, but the medical examiner wrote that Smith had been struck in the head by a car mirror during a hit-and-run.

No glass or other car debris was found in the area where Smith was found dead, however, the Packet reported.

The inconsistencies led many to speculate that Smith, who was openly gay, may have been murdered.

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