The physique of Stephen Smith, who died on a rustic street not removed from the Murdaugh house, is to be exhumed, his household introduced on Friday.
On March 9, his mom, Sandy Smith, opened a GoFundMe web page to boost cash to exhume the physique and carry out an unbiased post-mortem after questions had been raised about his 2015 demise in the course of the investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. A jury discovered former legal professional Alex Murdaugh guilty March 2 of murdering his spouse and son at their nation property in 2021.
In the course of the double murder investigation, state police mentioned they discovered new proof about Smith’s demise. The police reopened the case in June 2021 to analyze additional how the 19-year-old was killed.
Smith was discovered lifeless within the early morning hours on a South Carolina street “from blunt drive trauma on his head,” “48 Hours” reported. His yellow Chevy was discovered about three miles away, along with his pockets inside and the automotive’s fuel cap unscrewed. State police first mentioned that Smith had automotive hassle, was strolling for assist, and obtained hit by a automotive, “48 Hours” reported.
Audio on which state police had been overheard confirmed that some officers disagreed that “nothing seems to be a vehicular accident,” as one officer is heard saying, “48 Hours” reported. No headlights had been damaged, and Smith was nonetheless discovered along with his sneakers on — a uncommon consequence for victims of vehicular accidents, mentioned Seth Stoughton, a regulation professor on the College of South Carolina.
“It definitely raises questions whether or not hit and run is the proper conclusion,” Stoughton, instructed “48 Hours.”
Smith’s household believes he was murdered. His mom needs an unbiased willpower of his reason for demise. In South Carolina, the subsequent of kin can request a permit to exhume a physique.
“We want a brand new, unbiased have a look at his physique and an correct willpower of his reason for demise primarily based on info. There was no particles within the street, and his accidents weren’t in line with a hit-and-run,” wrote Smith on the web site devoted to elevating cash for the trouble.
Smith mentioned that an unbiased post-mortem prices about $7,000 and a medical expert about $750 for an hour. Personal post-mortem corporations on-line promote prices for an exhumation post-mortem ranging from $3,000 to $6,500.
The fundraising web page raised $44,140, virtually 3 times its authentic aim of $15,000.
“The household of Stephen N. Smith is extremely grateful for the outpouring of affection and help we now have acquired from Standing for Stephen and the group as an entire. You’ve got been monumental in shining mild on Stephen’s story and the shortage of justice,” his mom Sandy Smith wrote.