Cops Ordered Rape Kit After Finding Stephen Smith Dead Near Murdaughs’ Property
A rape kit was ordered just hours after Stephen Smith’s body was found dead near the Murdaughs’ property in 2015, according to authorities.
Michael Duncan, a former South Carolina Highway Patrol supervisor, spoke with NewsNationNow and said law enforcement was never given the chance to show their findings in the case of 19-year-old Smith, who was found dead on a road in Hampton County.
Duncan said he was working on the case, but did not respond to the scene because troopers were told to stay away, the outlet reported.
Medical examiners initially said Smith died after being hit by a car, Front Page Detectives previously reported.
However, Duncan could not explain why a rape kit allegedly was ordered in a suspected hit-and-run case. “I’ve never seen wounds like this that come from a car … In totality, it did not make sense why they were calling it a traffic accident," he said.
On March 21, Smith’s death was considered a homicide by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
In a press release from SLED clarifying the timeline of the investigation, they said an autopsy was performed on Smith’s body the same day it was discovered. The medical examiner determined he was fatally struck by a car.
They added, “SLED was not requested by the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office or the South Carolina Highway Patrol to investigate Mr. Smith’s death in 2015.”
SLED stated they looked into Smith’s case again after agents “received information” and reviewed the investigative file from highway patrol. They didn’t clarify what information they got, who or where it came from and why it led to them reviewing the case.
They said “it was apparent that the SCHP did not believe Mr. Smith’s death was a hit and run by a motor vehicle” based on the SCHP case notes. Adding, “SLED’s investigation into the death of Mr. Smith was never closed – it remains a homicide investigation. Progress has been made, and SLED’s investigation is active and ongoing.”
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Smith attended high school with Buster Murdaugh, who recently denied having any role in Smith’s death.
Smith’s family said they were seeking an independent autopsy after the investigation into Paul and Maggie Murdaugh’s 2021 murders. The slayings, which were carried out by Alex Murdaugh, took place nearly two weeks before SLED revisited Smith’s case.
SLED said at the time that information it uncovered while investigating the Murdaughs’ murders led them to look at the Smith case again.
On March 16, Smith’s family announced they reached their GoFundMe goal and his body would be exhumed and reexamined.
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