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Murdaugh Mysteries: Stephen Smith's Body Exhumed For Second Autopsy After Rape Kit Shocker!

Stephen Smith's Body Exhumed and Given Second Autopsy

Stephen Smith‘s body has been exhumed for a second autopsy.

It’s been almost a decade since the 19-year-old was found dead in South Carolina, near Alex Murdaugh‘s family property. Stephen was found on July 8, 2015 lying in the middle of a dark country road with gashes on his forehead. Authorities first declared the death a hit-and-run, despite a lack of evidence. But in the midst of the murder investigation of Murdaugh’s wife and son, the case has taken on a new life. The South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division reopened the case in 2021. And last month, police confirmed the death was actually a homicide — and now officials are off to the races to find some real answers.

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On Sunday, Sandy Smith‘s lawyer Eric Bland confirmed her son’s body was exhumed over the weekend, sharing via People:

“I now believe that Stephen can really rest at ease because SLED and our team are going to do everything possible to find out just how he died.”

He also thanked the department for finally answering Sandy’s prayers:

“I cannot thank SLED enough for making Sandy’s dream of exhuming Stephen and having a second autopsy be done become a reality and her pleas regarding Stephen for the last eight years to finally be heard. The state of South Carolina spent a significant amount of money this past weekend, ensuring a smooth and orderly exhumation.”

As we’ve been following, Sandy has been very outspoken about fighting for justice for her son. In a letter she once wrote to the FBI to get them to take over the case, she accused Alex’s surviving son Buster Murdaugh of killing her son by beating him to death. She even claimed her family heard from several eyewitnesses who saw Buster commit this violent crime, though he has denied the allegations.

The grieving mother also said she believed the Murdaugh family may have interfered with the initial investigation, but no one from the prominent family has been charged in the case thus far. That said, their name did reportedly come up in the investigation several times. There was even some unidentified evidence discovered during Alex’s double murder investigation that allowed the case to be reopened in 2021 after it went cold in 2016. Very sus…

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Also, it has now emerged that a rape kit was conducted on Smith shortly after he was found on Hampton County road to gather any relevant physical evidence left at the scene. Unfortunately, it was never tested…

Cpl. Michael Duncan, the former supervisor of the South Carolina Highway Patrol who was first in charge of the investigation, told NewsNation last week:

“I did not have an understanding of why it was being ordered. We were not notified until later that it had been ordered. So no, I have no answers for you as to why they would have ordered a rape kit for what would be suspected as a hit-and-run, which it wasn’t, but I will never understand that.”

Speaking to People last week, Eric Bland confirmed the rape kit was performed but not tested. He now believes police will discover Stephen’s death was a hate crime, saying:

“It could be that a bunch of thug kids decide, ‘Hey, we’re going to beat up the gay kid,’ or it was somebody who felt that Stephen was going to out them. Stephen had told his mother that he was dating somebody of prominence. He was very secretive about his lifestyle. He wasn’t secretive about the fact that he was gay, but he respected the boundaries of people who he had relationships with.”

It has been alleged by several classmates Stephen and Buster were romantically linked, FWIW…

On Monday morning, Sandy announced (via her attorneys) that she has allocated $35,000 from the funds raised on GoFundMe to be used as a reward to those with information leading to an arrest in connection to Stephen’s death. Hopefully, this renewed investigation finally brings this family the answers they deserve.

Thoughts? Let us know (below).

[Image via Law&Crime Network/YouTube & GoFundMe]

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Apr 03, 2023 11:06am PDT