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Reexamine Stephen Smith's Crime Scene Photos Taken Near The Murdaugh Property As Case Is Relabeled A Homicide

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Source: mega

Mar. 30 2023, Published 4:30 p.m. ET

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After the June 2021 murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced that the hit-and-run case of late Hampton County teenager Stephen Smith was reopened and labeled a homicide. Authorities claimed that evidence found while investigating the Murdaugh murders sparked the decision. Since then, progress has been made on Smith's case — and RadarOnline.com has obtained the 2015 crime scene photos.

Smith, 19, was openly gay and had dreams of becoming a doctor when his lifeless body was discovered in the middle of Sandy Run Road. He was found just a short distance from the Murdaugh family's private ranch, Moselle, where Paul and Maggie were killed six years later.

Adding to the mystery surrounding the case was a rumor that Smith and Buster Murdaughthe only surviving son of Alex Murdaugh, who was convicted of murdering his wife and son — were romantically involved at the time of his death.

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Source: mega

Stephen Smith's mom, Sandy.

On July 8, 2015, a call was made to emergency services to report a body in the middle of a backcountry road. Upon South Carolina High Patrol officers responding to the scene, Smith was discovered unresponsive and lying in a pool of his own blood.

The 19-year-old was positioned along the center yellow stripe dividing the lanes — and no evidence of tire marks or car parts were near him.

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Source: SCHP

Sandy Run Rd

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Source: SCHP
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Smith was on his back and wearing a green t-shirt and khaki shorts. Both of his shoes were on his feet and loosely tied.

The teenager was bleeding from a head injury, but other signals that Smith had collided with a vehicle were not found at the crime scene. The road appeared spotless aside from where Smith's body lay.

His yellow Chevy hatchback was found three miles away with his wallet, iPhone, and textbooks inside the vehicle. The car's gas cap was also strangely left open.

Despite his injuries and crime scene, as well as a rape kit being ordered hours after his discovery, Smith's death was bizarrely ruled a hit-and-run.

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Source: SCHP
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Smith's family and initial investigators rejected the claim that Smith was killed when a semi-truck mirror hit him. Additionally, Smith's mother, Sandy, claimed that her son was "skittish" and would have never walked along the side of a road late at night.

Sandy believed that if her son had vehicle problems, he would have cut across nearby fields rather than put himself in a vulnerable position. Since the 2021 Murdaugh murders, SLED released information on Smith's case.

"From SCHP case notes it was apparent that the SCHP did not believe Mr. Smith’s death was a hit and run by a motor vehicle," the agency said in a statement.

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Source: SCHP
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The SLED statement corroborated a claim from SCHP officer Mike Duncan, now retired, who denied that a vehicle killed Smith.

When asked if it was standard procedure for investigators to order a rape kit in cases like Smith's, Duncan replied, "when it comes to traffic accidents, never."

While Buster and the Murdaugh family name were mentioned dozens of times in the initial investigation, no such evidence has been presented to connect the once-prominent family to Smith's death — and Buster denied involvement with his late classmate's murder.

In light of the case picking up traction, Sandy raised over $110,000 through a GoFundMe to fund an exhumation of her son's body for an independent autopsy and investigation.

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