Stephen Smith: Body of Buster Murdaugh's gay classmate, 19, found near his home in 2015 to be exhumed
ISLANDTON, SOUTH CAROLINA: The mysterious death of Stephen Smith will be reinvestigated years after his body was found near the Murdaugh property in South Carolina. On Thursday, March 16, the young South Carolina man's family said his deceased body is set to be exhumed.
Smith's family has announced that his body will be exhumed for an independent autopsy following his death on July 8, 2015. The decision comes amid Alex Murdaugh's double murder trial, seven years after the 19-year-old gay man's body was discovered outside Hampton County not distant from the murder scene of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh in Moselle estate where they were fatally shot by Murdaugh.
Shocking moment Alex Murdaugh admits his cousin Eddie shot him to get son Buster $10M insurance
'Murdaugh Murders': Buster Murdaugh was accused of allegedly killing classmate and rumored boyfriend Stephen Smith in 2015
Was Buster involved in Smith's death?
In June 2021, the investigation into the unsolved death of Smith was reopened after his death was ruled a hit-and-run in 2015. The death probe was reopened following the details revealed during the double-murder investigation of Murdaugh's wife and son. Investigators have not yet revealed whether there was any suspicious link between the Murdaugh family and Smith's death. However, foul play was suspected after witnesses speculated that Murdaugh's elder son, Buster, may have had a role in the death of his classmate, according to New York Post.
Smith's mother set up GoFundMe page for exhumation
Smith's mother Sandy set up a fundraiser on Thursday for the exhumation and independent autopsy of her son's body. The GoFundMe page has raised $40,000 as of Friday morning and aims to raise $15,000 for the independent investigation.
In an update on the page, Sandy wrote, "Our family is so very grateful to all of you who came together to help us in our fight for justice for Stephen. I could not have imagined when we began this fundraiser that it would take off the way that it did. Thank you for not allowing Stephen’s story to be swept under a rug."
"We feel it's critical to seek a new goal - an independent exhumation and autopsy - and we're launching Justice for Stephen N Smith with that immediate goal in mind. While the state can elect and fund an exhumation and new autopsy, it is our understanding that it would be carried out at MUSC where his death was initially classified as hit-and-run despite no evidence to support it. We need a new, unbiased look at his body and an accurate determination of his cause of death based on facts," she added.
Sandy stated that she was relieved that Murdaugh was sentenced to two consecutive life terms behind the bars for shooting his wife and son to death. She said, "That jury done excellent. They seen through the lies and a Murdaugh is finally brought down. Now that this case is back over, they can get on Stephen’s case full-time," reported New York Post.