Well, this is good news for the Smith family!!
A second autopsy of Stephen Smith, who was killed near Alex Murdaugh‘s family home in South Carolina, has officially been declared a success!
As we’ve been following, the 19-year-old was found dead in the middle of a dark country road in Hampton County on July 8, 2015. Cops first ruled the case a hit-and-run, but they later backtracked, saying they believe his death was a homicide. Over the weekend, the nursing student’s body was exhumed, and a second autopsy was completed. Thankfully, it yielded positive results!
On Tuesday, forensic expert Dr. Kenneth Kinsey, who was hired by Stephen’s mother Sandy Smith‘s legal team as a private investigator, told NewsNation:
“I do know it was a success, they say they did collect evidence, it was very good documentation, and everybody was upbeat about the information that was collected. And that’s not always the situation when you exhume someone after so many years.”
While the final autopsy report has not been finalized, the expert is feeling very positive about this case, he added:
“I’m very very excited about the report coming and the pathologists were very upbeat.”
The body of Stephen Smith was exhumed after eight years, and investigators performed a second autopsy with the hope of gathering evidence as to how he died. @TVAshleigh talks to Kenneth Kinsey of the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Department about what they found. pic.twitter.com/iD54uZqRju— NewsNation (@NewsNation) April 4, 2023
Whoa. What great news for Stephen’s family! It also makes us wonder if Buster Murdaugh should be worried?!
As you may know, Stephen and Buster were high school classmates, but his connection to this case goes far deeper. According to other students in Netflix‘s documentary Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal, the boys were secretly romantically linked.
Also, Sandy claims she heard from several eyewitnesses that Buster was the one to allegedly murder her son “with a baseball bat.” She also believes his uncle Randolph may have interfered with the initial investigation after offering to help the family deal with police and then ghosting them. The Murdaugh family name came up several times during the investigation, but no one was ever charged and Buster has denied the allegations.
On top of all of this, Sandy’s lawyer Eric Bland thinks the crime scene was staged. The original theory was that Smith had run out of gas and was walking along the street when he was supposedly hit, but Eric doesn’t believe this is true. He told People on Monday:
“He definitely didn’t run out of gas. Nobody leaves their wallet in their car, especially if they run out of gas. And nobody starts walking miles and miles — three miles from his car — down a country road at 4 in the morning.”
The attorney thinks Stephen was killed at another location before he was placed on the road. He also confirmed the boy did not have drugs in his system at the time of his death. Earlier this week, we learned a rape kit had been performed on Stephen at the crime scene to collect all the potential evidence at the time of his death, but it was never tested. So, the fact they were able to find evidence so many years later is a great sign! As for whether or not it’ll lead to an arrest, we’ll have to wait and see. Thoughts? Let us know (below)!
The Smith family is offering $35,000 in reward for information leading to an arrest in connection to Stephen’s death. Anyone with information is urged to contact SLED at 803-737-9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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