Front Page Detectives

Data Collected From Phone of Teen Found Dead Near Alex Murdaugh Estate Could Unlock Key Clues in Case: Attorney

New Details on Stephen Smith Case Could Link Alex Murdaugh: Police
Source: GoFundMe

Stephen Smith, 19, was found dead in the middle of a dark country road near the Murdaugh family home on July 8, 2015.

Nov. 29 2023, Published 2:02 p.m. ET

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Investigators have finally gained access to the data on Stephen Smith's cell phone and tablet and it could help authorities determine if convicted killer Alex Murdaugh was at the scene of the crime, according to new reports.

Smith, 19, was found dead in the middle of a dark country road near the Murdaugh family home on July 8, 2015. His death was initially ruled a hit-and-run, but now authorities believe it was a homicide, according to a Front Page Detectives report.

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As Front Page Detectives previously reported, the teen’s body was exhumed almost eight years after his death in 2015.

On April 4, forensic expert Dr. Kenneth Kinsey, who was hired as a private investigator by Smith’s family, gave an autopsy update.

"I do know it was a success, they say they did collect evidence, it was very good documentation, and everybody was upbeat about the information that was collected," Kinsey said, People reported. "And that's not always the situation when you exhume someone after so many years."

Rumors in South Carolina have hinted at the possibility that Murdaugh and his surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, were somehow involved in Smith's case.

Nothing has ever come from these rumors, but now the attorney for Smith's family believes the teen's devices being unlocked could shed light on whether or not Murdaugh is linked in any way.

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Attorney Eric Bland has now told NewsNation's Chris Cuomo, “I think between the phone and the tablet, it will yield some information that, close in proximity to when Stephen was killed, should explain: Was he (Stephen) going away with a prominent person, as he told his mother?"

Bland added, "But more importantly, SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) will be able to talk to the investigating officers and confirm whether Alex Murdaugh was at the accident scene."

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Smith's mother, Sandy Smith, has claimed that she saw Alex Murdaugh at the scene of her son's death.

"I believe my client," Bland said. "I don’t think she’s told one single untruth in this whole process, and she doesn’t have an axe to grind with anybody."

Since the new investigations have come to light, Buster has adamantly denied he had anything to do with the case and has said the claims are "vicious rumors" as well as "baseless" and "false," The Sun reported.

"I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family," Buster has said.


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