Stephen Smith's mom sent letter to FBI in 2016 implicating Murdaughs in her son's death
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Years before the now-infamous Murdaugh family raised any suspicions, grieving mother Sandy Smith had written to the FBI to ask for an investigation.
Sandy's son Stephen Smith was found dead in July 2015 on the side of a rural road just miles from the Murdaugh family's hunting estate.
The 19-year-old, who was a classmate of Buster Murdaugh, was presumed to have been killed in a hit-and-run incident, but his mom didn't buy it.
So Sandy wrote a letter to the FBI in September 2016 to ask them to investigate her son's death, pointing to Buster Murdaugh as the first potential suspect.
In Sandy's letter, which was obtained by FITS News this week, she claims she had heard from an alleged witness who had seen Buster murder her son by beating him with a baseball bat.
The unknown witness allegedly told the Smith family that they had been present during the murder, but had been silenced by Buster, who threatened to kill them if they spoke out.
Sandy's four-page letter also claims that Buster's uncle Randy Murdaugh had offered to represent the Smith family after news of Stephen's death got out.
But Randy quickly stopped taking the Smith family's calls.
Following the scandalous trial of Buster's father Alex Murdaugh, who this month was convicted for murdering his wife and son, all eyes are now on the once prominent Murdaugh family.
That's why it took until this week (21 March) for authorities to rule Stephen Smith's death as a homicide.
Commenting on the news this week, the Smiths' family attorney Eric Bland said this change in approach was an opportunity to 'right eight years of wrongs'.
He added that law enforcement officials 'will be present and participate in any exhumation of Stephen’s body to gather more evidence'.
Buster Murdaugh also issued a comment this week to address the 'baseless rumors' of his involvement in Stephen's death.
"I have tried my best to ignore the vicious rumors about my involvement in Stephen Smith’s tragic death that continue to be published in the media as I grieve over the brutal murders of my mother and brother. I love them so much and miss them terribly,” he said through his attorney Jim Griffin.
"I haven’t spoken up until now because I want to live in private while I cope with their deaths and my father’s incarceration.
"Before, during and since my father’s trial, I have been targeted and harassed by the media and followers of this story.
“This has gone on far too long. These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false.
"I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family. I am requesting that the media immediately stop publishing these defamatory comments and rumours about me."
UNILAD has reached out to Buster Murdaugh's attorney and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for additional comment.