COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — A man charged in a 2019 boating crash that killed a young woman was found dead with his mother Monday night at a family hunting lodge in Colleton County.
The Colleton County Coroner’s Office identified Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mother, 52-year-old Margaret Murdaugh, as the deceased. According to several sources, they were found dead by Richard Murdaugh, husband and father to the victims.
Paul Murdaugh was awaiting trial in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) is investigating the incident as a double homicide. State agents and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office spent the day at the property on Moselle Road in the Islandton community Tuesday gathering evidence from the crime scene.
SLED says they received a call from local law enforcement just after 10 p.m. Monday to aid in the investigation of two people killed by at least one gunshot each.
The agency said there is no danger to the public and, at last report, no active search for suspects.
WSAV spoke with some Islandton neighbors who wouldn’t say much about what happened Monday night or the Murdaugh family — just calling them “good people.”
Paul Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to Beach’s death in May of 2019 and did not spend any time in jail.
He was allegedly intoxicated and driving erratically with multiple people aboard when the boat slammed into a piling, throwing Beach into the water.
Beach’s body was found a week later.
Her family released a statement through their attorney, saying in part: “Having suffered from the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss.”
“It is their most sincere hope that someone will come forward and cooperate with authorities so that the perpetrator of these senseless crimes can be brought to justice,” the statement continues.
The Murdaugh family is prominent in the Lowcountry. Paul Murdaugh is the grandson of Randolph Murdaugh III, a former 14th Circuit solicitor.
The law firm of Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth and Detrick (PMPED), started by the Murdaugh family over a century ago, released a statement asking anyone with information on the investigation to contact law enforcement.
“The Murdaugh family and PMPED wish to thank everyone for the many calls and condolences in the aftermath of the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh,” the statement reads. “We ask for your continued patience and prayers through this tragic time.”
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office asks anyone with information on the double homicide to call 843-549-2211.