According to Stephen Smith’s mother’s attorney, the corpse of the teenager from South Carolina was exhumed for a second autopsy as part of the murder inquiry into his 2015 passing.

When Smith, then 19, was discovered on July 8, 2015, lying in the middle of a pitch-black country road with deep gashes to his forehead, his death was originally determined to be the result of a hit-and-run.

Smith’s death was the subject of a reopened investigation by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on June 22, 2021, “based upon information gathered during the course of the double murder investigation of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.” The spokesperson did not, however, elaborate on the details that prompted them to move.

Buster Murdaugh, the son of Alex Murdaugh, who is currently serving two life terms for the murders of his son Paul and wife Maggie, went to school with Smith. The Murdaugh family has not been implicated by the authorities in Smith’s murder, and Buster has vehemently denied any involvement on his part.

The teen’s mother, Sandy Smith, has insisted her son was not a hit-and-run victim, though.

Sandy Smith was exhumed this past weekend for a second autopsy, according to Eric Bland, Smith’s counsel, who said this on Sunday. In a statement posted to Twitter, he said, “I now think that Stephen can really rest at ease because SLED and our team are going to do everything possible to find out exactly how he died.

“I can’t express how grateful I am to SLED for granting Sandy’s wish to exhume Stephen and have a second autopsy performed as well as making Sandy’s cries regarding Stephen for the past eight years ultimately heard. This past weekend, the state of South Carolina paid a sizable sum of money to ensure a quick and efficient exhumation.

Former Smith family attorney Mike Hemlepp stated, “Sandy and I both believe that this was a murder.” “Whoever hurt Stephen in this way needs to go to jail.”

The South Carolina Highway Patrol originally looked into Smith’s case before it went cold in 2016, according to FITSnews. The Murdaugh family name, a prominent local family well-known for their venerable law company, was repeatedly brought up as a potential suspect in that investigation, according to FITSnews. However, no Murdaugh family member has ever been interrogated, and no formal accusations have ever been brought.

In order to collect any pertinent physical evidence left at the scene, it was also revealed that Smith underwent a rape kit soon after he was discovered on a road in Hampton County.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol’s former supervisor, Cpl. Michael Duncan, revealed to NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield that Smith was the subject of a rape kit. This was the first time in Duncan’s tenure that a rape kit had been requested in connection with a traffic incident.

Duncan admitted to Banfield, “I did not comprehend why it was being ordered. “It wasn’t until later that we learned it had been ordered. The reason they would have ordered a rape kit for what would have been considered a hit-and-run, which it wasn’t, is something I will never be able to fathom, so I’m afraid I have no solutions for you.

Bland acknowledged the existence of a rape kit but declined to have it analyzed. The lawyer has also stated that he thinks investigators will find evidence that Smith’s murder was a hate crime.

It might have been someone who thought Stephen was going to out them, or it might have been a group of thug kids who decided, “Hey, we’re going to beat up the gay kid.” “Stephen had revealed to his mother that he was courting a famous person. He kept his lifestyle a very closely-guarded secret. Although he was open about being gay, he honored the boundaries of those with whom he had relationships.

Through the family’s lawyers, Sandy Smith revealed on Monday that she is allocating a $35,000 reward from a GoFundMe fund for information that results in an arrest in relation to Stephen’s death.


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