COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Two weeks have passed since the brutal murder of Paul and Margaret Murdaugh, two members of a prominent Lowcountry family. Little information is known about what happened and who could be responsible for the deaths.
New information provided by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on Monday did little to fill in the missing blanks.
Residents say the lack of details has many drawing their own conclusions about the high-profile murders. One Hampton resident, who didn’t want to provide their name, says he’s been left with more questions than answers.
“Speculation is running wild in all directions about what might have happened,” the resident said.
New information released by SLED paints an expansive crime scene where the murders took place. It also shows one car was towed from the family property. Hampton residents say they’re still trying to understand what happened back on June 7th.
“Being that it’s such a high-profile family, it’s kind of shocking,” says the resident. “I’ve been reading the stories very close.”
The Colleton County Coroner’s report confirmed both Paul and Margaret were shot multiple times with different weapons but law enforcement has remained tight-lipped on motive or potential suspects.
“I think that it’s kind of mysterious that the information hasn’t been put out as you would normally get,” says the resident. “I don’t, I don’t know what to make of it, real mysterious kind of murder.”
The lack of information has created speculation behind what could’ve happened. The speculation has residents calling on law enforcement to be more transparent in the investigation and provide answers.
“I think they should release more information and take information to the people,” says the resident. “You know the police should stand up and have a news conference, do that sort of thing.”
Calls for answers go beyond law enforcement with some calling on 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone to turn the case over and recuse himself.
In a statement, Stone says until a suspect is charged a such move would be inappropriate. However, Murdaugh family members served in the same solicitor’s seat for decades and reportedly hand-picked Stone as the heir apparent. Residents say Stone’s connection with the family should be enough reason to step back.
“Oh absolutely, I read through that and it made no sense why he would keep himself in the loop and not recuse himself,” says the resident.
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For now, Hampton is a mourning community left searching for answers in the death of Paul and Margaret Murdaugh.
“Well I hope they figure it out and get justice,” says the resident.
Solicitor Stone says his office continues to offer legal assistance in the investigation and is working with Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office. SLED says it remains committed to a fair and thorough investigation and will release new details when the agency feels it’s appropriate to do so.