Investigators say new information was gathered after the body of the South Carolina teen was exhumed some eight years after his death, and they have deemed a second autopsy of Stephen Smith to have been successful.

On July 8, 2015, Smith, 19, was discovered deceased three miles from his car on a dark country road in Hampton County, South Carolina, with deep gashes to his forehead. Authorities have changed their original assessment of his death from a hit-and-run to a homicide.

Dr. Kenneth Kinsey, a forensic specialist who Sandy Smith’s legal team employed as a private investigator, provided NewsNation with an autopsy update on Tuesday.

I am aware that it was successful because, as they claim, they gathered proof, there was excellent documentation, and everyone was positive about the data gathered, Kinsey said. And when you exhume someone after so much time, that’s not always the case.

Although the official autopsy report was not yet complete, Kinsey continued, “The pathologists were very optimistic,” and he added, “I’m very, very excited about the report coming.”

Sandy Smith, Stephen’s mother, posted a picture to the Justice for Stephen N. Smith Family Page on Facebook on Sunday following Stephen’s second burial. “My newborn child is once again in his final resting spot. Again, thank you to everyone who made this possible,” the statement said.

Related: According To The Attorney, Stephen Smith’s Body Was Exhumed And Subjected To A Second Autopsy

On Monday morning, Sandy Smith revealed through the family’s attorneys that she is allocating a $35,000 reward from monies raised from a GoFundMe for evidence leading to an arrest in connection with Stephen’s death.

Attorney Ronnie Richter stated in a statement, “We hope that this reward will encourage anyone with information to come forward and provide the critical details needed to solve this case.”

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.

Smith was friends with Buster Murdaugh, the remaining child of convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh. The Murdaugh family has never been linked to the slaying, according to the authorities, and Buster strongly denied having anything to do with Smith’s death last month.

Eric Bland, a lawyer for the Smith family, informed a source that he does not think that the original theory that Smith ran out of gas and was walking in the street when he was struck is accurate.

He most certainly didn’t run out of steam, according to Bland.

Nobody ever leaves their wallet in their vehicle, particularly if they run out of gas, continued Bland. “And nobody starts walking down a country road at four in the morning, three miles from his car.”

Smith had no drugs in his system at the time of his death, according to Bland, who also stated that he thinks Smith was killed elsewhere before being put on the road.


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