HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on Wednesday opened a criminal investigation into the 2018 death of former Murdaugh family housekeeper, Gloria Satterfield.

Satterfield died following what was described as a trip and fall accident at the Murdaugh’s home.

SLED said that the investigation was opened “based upon a request from the Hampton County Coroner… as well as information gathered during the course of [the] other investigations involving Alex Murdaugh.”

A letter sent to SLED by Coroner Angela Topper said that Satterfield’s “death was not reported to the Coroner at the time, nor was an autopsy performed. On the death certificate, the manner of death was ruled ‘Natural,’ which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident.”

The criminal investigation comes the same day that Satterfield’s two sons filed a lawsuit against Alex Murdaugh in connection to the 2018 wrongful death settlement which entitled them to a $500,000 wrongful death claim, which they say they still have not received. SLED is also investigating “the handling of [Satterfield’s] estate.”

The lawsuit filed September 15 also called for answers surrounding the circumstances of Satterfield’s death.

Questions regarding the circumstances of Satterfield’s death have apparently circulated within the community for years.

During a deposition with the Department of Natural Resources in connection to the 2019 boating crash that killed Mallory Beach, a passenger and then-friend of Paul Murdaugh told law enforcement that he was initially afraid to come forward with details of that night’s events, saying he was afraid of the Murdaugh family.

When asked what he meant, Connor Cook cited Satterfield’s death as a point of concern:

“[It] was said that Paul had pushed his [house maid] down the stairs and she died and nothing ever happened.”

Satterfield served as the Murdaugh’s housekeeper and nanny for over two decades.

Editor’s note: This story is breaking and will be updated.