Buster Murdaugh Named By Stephen Smith’s Mom As A Murder Suspect In 2016 FBI Letter!

Like father… like son??

Buster Murdaugh is coming under fire as the investigation into his classmate Stephen Smith’s death picks back up.

As we’ve been following, the 19-year-old was found dead near the Murdaugh family home in South Carolina in July 2015. Initially, cops believed it had been a homicide, but they then changed their mind and declared the cause of death a hit-and-run, though some claim there wasn’t enough evidence to point to that conclusion. The case went cold in 2016 until 2021 when undisclosed evidence was discovered during the double murder investigation of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. The family patriarch Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of the crimes earlier this month.

Earlier this week, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division announced they have once again reopened the investigation and are now considering the death a homicide. This comes after the nursing student’s mother Sandy Smith and her lawyers petitioned the court to exhume the teenager’s body and conduct an independent investigation to finally find answers.

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For a long time now, the Murdaugh family has been connected to the case. First, there’s the fact the body was found miles from their home. Then there are the rumors Buster may have been in a secret relationship with Stephen, per classmates in Netflix’s docuseries, Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal. In the newly released letter written to the FBI and obtained by FITSNews on Monday, Sandy confirmed Stephen was dating “someone from a prominent family in the county who was hiding his sexuality.” That said, the teen kept the person’s name private. Hmm.

There have also been reports that the powerful family was mentioned several times during the investigation, but nobody was ever charged in the case. Interestingly, it seems Stephen’s mom knows who is to blame and she’s tried to get her number one suspect looked into before!

In the aforementioned new letter, Sandy wrote to the FBI in hopes they’d take over the case. She believed SLED wasn’t handling the investigation properly for many reasons. In the lengthy note, she directly called out Buster as a murder suspect — and claimed her family was aware of an eyewitness who knew exactly how her son died!!

Buster Murdaugh's Friend's Mysterious Death Officially Ruled A Homicide – BEFORE Body Was Exhumed!
(c) GoFundMe & New 19 WLTX/YouTube

There were several things the Smith family found suspicious about the case from the get-go, she explained. Not only did they feel SLED wasn’t doing everything they could to uncover all the evidence in the case (such as getting into phone records), they were thrown off guard when Alex’s brother, Randolph, a county solicitor at the time, called them to offer to work the case pro bono as an intermediary between them and the police — before they’d even identified their son’s body!

They accepted the offer, but they grew confused when Randolph started ghosting them! Pretty strange… and it gets worse. Way, way worse. Sandy claims her children Stephanie and Chris were each told who’d killed their brother, writing in the letter:

“Within days of our son’s death, Stephen’s twin sister, Stephanie, was approached multiple times by peers telling her that solicitor Murdaugh’s nephews were responsible. As a family, it was suspicious to us since he had taken such an immediate interest in the case and then became unreachable so quickly. These suspicions reached new heights weeks later when Stephen’s older brother, Chris, was approached at work by a young man he did not know. This person told Chris he was present when Stephen was murdered and witnessed everything first hand. He said that Solicitor Murdaugh’s nephew, Buster Murdaugh (who graduated with Stephen), beat Stephen to death with a baseball bat. He claimed it was because Stephen was gay. (Stephen was in fact gay.) The witness said they were out smashing mailboxes when they came upon Stephen, and Buster seized the opportunity. The young man told Chris that Buster threatened to kill him if he ever spoke up. This information was given to investigators but nothing has come of it.”


Beaten with a baseball bat for being gay?! That is absolutely horrendous. Sandy claims there is at least one other individual (a former classmate of Paul’s) who claimed to know about the murder as well, but the statements were not discussed with the police.

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The letter goes on to claim the Murdaugh family may have reacted to the alleged murder before reaching out to police because the 911 dispatch log states the first responding officer, Michael Bridges, arrived “on the scene within a minute of 911’s dispatch” and the second officer, Jason Eubanks, arrived “within two minutes.” Sandy shared:

“This is suspicious to me because the area where my son was placed is extremely rural. Cops do not patrol that area frequently, and it’s not likely an officer, much less two, would coincidentally be patrolling there prior to 5 a.m. They had to be in that area at the time for a reason. I suspect they were there because they already knew Stephen was there, and I suspect the Murdaughs were the ones who told them.”

Stephen was found on a dark country road miles away; his car was discovered nearby. Sandy goes on to maintain she believes Buster is a suspect because he has “gotten rid of his old vehicle,” a “critical” component of the case which may have Stephen’s “DNA” inside. She also doesn’t think her son would have left his car without his wallet, suggesting he may have left the vehicle unwillingly. She even pointed out that “there were no skid marks of vehicle debris consistent with a hit-and-run at the crime scene.” Sad to see “history repeating itself,” the grieving mother claimed she was made aware of “a criminal case decades ago that was swept under a rug to protect a different member of the Murdaugh family.” Whoa… She really has her sights set on Buster and the Murdaughs, and maybe for good reason, if all this is true.

It should be noted earlier this week, Alex’s surviving son vehemently denied allegations he had anything to do with Stephen’s death, writing in a statement:

“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 rumors about me.”

We sincerely hope this new investigation can turn up more answers for the Smith family. We cannot imagine how difficult it must be to lose a child and be left without closure, let alone be met with so many of these gut-wrenching allegations. Those who wish to donate to the investigation can do so HERE. You can also read the entire FBI letter HERE. Thoughts? Let us know (below)!

[Image via GoFundMe & Netflix/News 19 WLTX/YouTube]

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