COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on Tuesday confirmed that the agency is opening the investigation into the 2015 death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith based on information gathered during the investigation into the shooting deaths of Paul and Margaret Murdaugh.
SLED informed Smith’s mother, Sandy Smith, of the investigation Tuesday. The SLED Midlands division will be handling the investigation.
Smith was found dead on rural Sandy Run Road. At the time, investigators said that it appeared Smith was hit by a vehicle while standing outside his vehicle that had run out of gas. SLED, the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office, and South Carolina Highway Patrol were part of the initial investigation.
No suspect was ever identified.
SLED did not elaborate on the relationship between Smith and the Murdaughs, nor on the information uncovered in the Murdaugh investigation that led them to reopen the Smith case.
Despite rumors within the community, the Murdaughs were never implicated in Smith’s death.
Editor’s note: This story is breaking and will be updated.