A new development in the Alex Murdaugh case has emerged: the mother is having her son, Stephen Smith, whose body was discovered near the family estate, exhumed.


A MOURNING mother has collected funds to exhume her son’s body, whose body was discovered close to the Murdaugh estate.

A cold case was solved thanks to the publicity surrounding the trial of former prominent lawyer Alex Murdaugh, who was accused of murdering his wife Maggie and their youngest son Paul.


The Alex Murdaugh murder investigation brought attention to Stephen Smith's case


On July 8, 2015, the body of Stephen Smith was found on Sandy Run Road in Hampton County, South Carolina.

The death of the 19-year-old nursing student was at first suspected to be a hit-and-run, but was later ruled a homicide after evidence was collected at the scene.

The police were unable to identify the person responsible for Stephen’s death from blunt force trauma to the head.

Information gathered during the double murder investigation of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh prompted the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to reopen the case of Stephen’s death six years later.

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Stephen’s body was discovered in Colleton County, not far from the Murdaughs’ million-dollar property, but the Murdaughs’ possible involvement in Stephen’s death remains unknown.

Sandy Smith, Stephen’s mom, is determined to find out who murdered her son, but she has her own ideas about how to go about it.

She started her GoFundMe campaign on March 10 to collect money for an exhumation and a second, impartial autopsy.

The page received $59,353, which is more than four times the original goal of $15,000. This money will be used by the family to cover the costs of the exhumation and autopsy.

It was “critical,” Sandy said, that the autopsy be conducted elsewhere than at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

The family “feels it is critical to seek a new goal — an independent exhumation and autopsy,” as Sandy put it on the fundraising page.

We believe that if the state decides to exhume his body and conduct a new autopsy, they will do so at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), where his death was initially ruled a hit-and-run despite insufficient evidence.

“We need a new, unbiased look at his body and an accurate determination of his cause of death based on facts,” she continued.

“His injuries did not look like they were caused by a hit-and-run, and there was no evidence of a collision in the road.”

Sandy posted a thank you note to the donors on the GoFundMe page set up for her family’s medical expenses.

For the family of Stephen N. Smith is extremely appreciative of the community’s and Standing for Stephen’s outpouring of love and support.

Thank you so much for being a pillar of the community and bringing Stephen’s story and the lack of justice to light.

The Standing for Stephen movement sought accountability for Stephen’s death and offered support to LGBTQ youth like Smith.

Using the money they raised, the movement was able to help the Smith family erect a headstone at Stephen’s grave.

“Thank you for not letting Stephen’s story be swept under the rug,” Sandy continued.

We will begin the exhumation immediately and keep you apprised of our progress.

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Following Alex Murdaugh’s guilty verdict, the Smith family released a statement where Sandy said: “We know firsthand the agony and frustration of being in the dark about how a family member was killed and I am thankful the whole story was put before the jury in a public trial.

I hope the same is true for my Stephen one day, but today we should remember the people who were hurt by this disgraced attorney, she said.

Murdaugh was convicted of killing his wife, Maggie (center left), and his youngest son, Paul, (left)



Micheal Kurt

I earned a bachelor's degree in exercise and sport science from Oregon State University. He is an avid sports lover who enjoys tennis, football, and a variety of other activities. He is from Tucson, Arizona, and is a huge Cardinals supporter.

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