Investigation into Murdaugh-linked teen Stephen Smith’s mysterious death making ‘substantial progress’: lawyers

Lawyers representing the family of the supposed victim stated this week that the murder inquiry regarding the enigmatic demise of a teenager from South Carolina, who may have had connections to the notorious Murdaugh family, encompasses a plethora of fresh evidence.

“Significant advancements are occurring in the murder inquiry of Stephen Smith,” lawyer Eric Bland informed the local news service WIS.

Later, on the 1,700-acre Moselle estate where Smith, 19, was discovered deceased in the early hours of July 8, 2015, on Sandy Run Road in Hampton County, not far from, lawyer Alex Murdaugh fatally shot his wife, Maggie, and younger son, Paul.

Although the initial attribution of the nursing student’s death was to a hit-and-run accident, Paul and Maggie are investigating the case again after the police discovered new information in 2021.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) reclassified the incident as a homicide in March, and Smith’s body was exhumed for re-evaluation in April.

Stephen Smith.
Stephen Smith, 19, was found dead on July 8, 2015.
Courtesy of Sandy Smith

Ronnie Richter, a partner at the law firm representing Bland’s family, informed WIS that he received a promising update during a recent call with the chief of the SLED, Keel Mark.

“He stated, ‘See, Eric, I am hopeful in a constructive manner, I observe advancement being achieved, genuine progress,'” Bland clarified.

“He informed me that we had already learned some things, didn’t we? We have conversed with a group of about six or five individuals who possess that knowledge.”

Blurred image of Smith
Smith’s death was initially ruled a hit-and-run.

The FBI has reported progress in the case of Sandy Smith’s older son, Alex Murdaugh, who has been accused of playing a role in her son’s death in a scathing letter in 2016.

Sandy Murdaughs, a powerful figure, accuses them of only a few weeks later dropping the missive, which represents her family’s grief after the untimely death of their son.

Stephen’s indistinguishable sibling, Stephanie, has additionally claimed that other adolescents have asserted that Buster, who is presently 26 years of age, killed her sibling “utilizing a wooden club.”

The road where Smith was found.
Smith was found dead just a few miles from the Murdaugh family estate.

Baseless gossip has circulated for years that Smith, who was openly homosexual, was in a clandestine relationship with Buster.

During that period, Buster was “in our sights,” verified a South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper connected to the initial inquiry earlier this year.

In March, only a couple of weeks following his father’s conviction for murdering his mother and brother and receiving two back-to-back life sentences, Buster Murdaugh strongly refuted any participation in the demise of the teenager and dismissed the “cruel gossip”.

Eric Bland.
Eric Bland is representing Smith’s family in the ongoing investigation.

Bland confirmed this week that SLED has already obtained the findings of Smith’s second postmortem.

The lawyers will receive the outcomes in a written document at some point this week.

Bland mentioned that Smith’s mother is seeking an explanation. Sandy Smith is not seeking someone to be accused of Stephen’s homicide.

Sandy Smith holding a picture of Stephen.
Smith’s mother, Sandy, accused Buster Murdaugh of being involved in her son’s death in a 2016 letter to the FBI.

“She won’t be distressed if there’s no Murdaugh association with what occurred to her son.

“I believe she is going to receive responses.”

During a recent interview, Sandy Smith informed WIS that SLED’s choice to reassess her son’s death as a homicide was the most valuable information she had received in a considerable amount of time.

She continued, “That was a great day to convince people to believe Stephen’s story, and I had been waiting so long to hear that because I knew it was a homicide.”

Bland told the outlet this week he believes the state will release an outline of what happened to Smith by Labor Day.