Following the conviction of Alex Murdaugh and the exhumation and re-burial of Stephen Smith, mainstream and LGBTQ media has largely focused on the onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation coming from multiple state governments across the country.
Scant information has been released in recent weeks on any recent developments.
Smith was found dead at the age of 19 on July 8, 2015, in a rural area of Hampton County, South Carolina, on Sandy Run Road near the border of property owned by the Murdaugh family. Initially his death was ruled a hit and run, but rumors have swirled since then that a member of the multi-generational kingpin legal family was somehow involved or responsible for Smith’s death.
Although no specific information has been released from authorities to establish a motivation for anyone in the Murdaugh family as of yet, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced during the Murdaugh murder investigations last year that potential evidence recovered from the family home had prompted investigators to reopen the case as a homicide investigation.
Smith’s mother Sandy, through finances raised using a reopened GoFundMe account that was initially established to pay for the cost of Stephen Smith’s tombstone, was able to raise an additional $100,000 that afforded her the opportunity to hire private investigators and call for the exhumation of Smith’s body.
That took place quietly over the weekend of April 1-2. Smith’s body was returned to his burial plot early the following week.
State and private investigators have remained tight lipped about any evidence gleaned from the exhuming of Smith’s body and continue to do so.
Attorney Eric Bland, who represents the Smith family, confirmed that a rape kit had been administered following the recovery of Stephen’s body in 2015, although it had never been tested. As recently as a month ago the rape kit was reportedly unaccounted for. Bland was quoted in a story carried by The Sun News that it was his understanding the rape kit was in the possession of SLED, but it has still not been processed.