(NewsNation) — Buster Murdaugh, the sole surviving son of convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh, is denying involvement in the death of Stephen Smith.
Smith’s body was found on a rural road in Hampton County, South Carolina, reportedly just miles from the Murdaugh’s estate in July 2015. His death was initially ruled a hit-and-run but the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, which didn’t conduct the initial investigation, says they have uncovered new information about Smith’s death. That information has not been released, but it has given fresh fuel to talk that Buster Murdaugh may have been involved.
Buster has refuted the chatter, calling it “baseless rumors.” There has officially been no known evidence connecting any member of the Murdaugh family to Smith’s death.
“I unequivocally deny any involvement in his (Stephen’s) death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family. I’m requesting that the media immediately stop publishing these defamatory comments and rumors about me,” Murdaugh shared in a statement.
Ronnie Richter, an attorney for Stephen Smith’s family, says his team’s involvement in the case has “nothing to do” with Buster Murdaugh.
“Our involvement in, our participation in this case, has nothing to do with Buster Murtaugh. It does have everything to do with finding the ultimate truth and seeking the truth without regard to who’s involved,” Richter said during an appearance on “Dan Abrams Live.”
Richter continued: “We didn’t get hired by the rumor mill. We got hired by Sandy Smith. You know, she lost her son eight years ago. And she was told after a limited investigation that she was to accept that her son was killed in a hit-and-run accident when none of the physical evidence seems to point to that conclusion. So this is not the Buster Murdaugh investigation. That is not our purpose here. This is the Stephen Smith investigation.”
The Smith family has raised enough money for an independent exhumation and autopsy.
“I think Sandy Smith, justifiably so, has reached a point of impatience and exhaustion. And it means she has to resort to private means to get her son’s body exhumed to have independent pathology done. And that’s what she’s going to do. She wants and needs answers,” Richter said.
Richter insists that the Smith family has no preconceived idea about the case other than they believe Smith was killed intentionally.
“The family believes firmly that the cause of death of a hit-and-run is not correct. It appears clear that someone killed this young man and deposited his body on the roadway,” Richter said, later adding: “Somebody in Hampton County knows what happened to Stephen Smith.”
Richter is appealing to the public for help, urging anyone with information about Stephen Smith’s death to contact his law firm, Bland Richter.