On the morning of July 8, 2015, 19-year-old Stephen Smith was found dead in the middle of a road. He was found with a gash on the right side of his forehead, cuts and bruises on his right hand and a partially dislocated right shoulder. His car was found out of gas three miles away.


At first, authorities believed the head wound was a gunshot, but after a search for cartridge cases and bullet fragments came up empty, his death was ruled a hit-and-run due to blunt head trauma. However, no glass, vehicle fragments or tire marks that would be consistent with a hit-and-run were found at the scene.

The case quickly went cold. The Murdaugh name was mentioned many times throughout the investigation, as the accident occurred 15 miles from the Murdaugh house. Classmates of Smith’s allegedly approached Smith’s mother, Sandy Smith, to tell her Buster Murdaugh was responsible, but this tip was not investigated.


A week of entertainment news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.

Buster Murdaugh, 26, has denied all allegations and is begging for more privacy given the recent trauma surrounding his own family. His father, Alex Murdaugh, was found guilty of killing his wife, Margaret, and youngest son, Paul, in 2021 and in 2023 he was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences.

In a statement released on Monday, the younger Murdaugh said, “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. 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.”

“We need a new, unbiased look at his body and an accurate determination of his cause of death based on facts,” Sandy Smith stated on the GoFundMe page she started to exhume her son’s body to have a private medical examination.

Leave a comment

Read more about: