Buster Murdaugh Named by Stephen Smith's Mom as Murder Suspect in FBI Letter
Stephen Smith Homicide Case Mom Sent Letter To FBI ... ID'd Buster Murdaugh As Suspect in Son's Murder
3/23/2023 5:15 AM PT
Stephen Smith's mom fired off a letter to the FBI about the mishandling of her son's death investigation, saying he was murdered for being gay and naming Buster Murdaugh as a possible suspect.
Sandy Smith sent the 4-page letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2016, hoping the agency would take over the case from local South Carolina authorities, whom she believed had covered up critical evidence in the case.
As you know, Stephen was found dead in the middle of a country road in Hampton County near the Murdaugh family estate on July 8, 2015. Police initially thought Stephen's death was a "homicide" because there were no signs he'd been struck by a vehicle. Yet, the pathologist who performed the autopsy ruled that it was a hit-and-run, but Stephen's manner of death was left undetermined.
In the letter, obtained by FITSNews, Sandy wrote Stephen's older brother, Christopher, was told by a classmate that Buster Murdaugh allegedly killed Stephen with a baseball bat because Stephen was gay. Buster is the eldest son of convicted killer Alex Murdaugh, who is serving life in prison for murdering his wife and younger son.
Sandy said Buster and the classmate were smashing mailboxes around town when they came upon Stephen, and Buster "seized the opportunity."
Sandy also claimed Buster threatened to kill the classmate if he spoke out about what happened. The information was allegedly turned over to local investigators, but nothing ever materialized.
What's more, Sandy said Stephen was apparently dating "someone from a prominent family in the county who was hiding his sexuality." But, Stephen kept the person's name under wraps.
Sandy alluded to a secret romance between Buster and Stephen in the letter. The same allegation was highlighted by their former schoolmates in a recent Netflix series about the Murdaugh murders.
And then there's this ... Alex Murdaugh's brother, Randolph, called Stephen's dad immediately after his son's death, asking to work the case pro bono and act as an intermediary between the Smith family and police, according to Sandy. Randolph was the county solicitor at the time.
Sandy said Stephen's father accepted the offer, although he was confused as to why Randolph wanted to help and how he found about the case before his son's body had been identified. But, Sandy said, Randolph stopped calling her family after a few interactions and wound up not representing them.
Murdaugh-Linked Teen Stephen Smith's Death Now Investigated as Homicide
In a recent twist, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division officials announced they're now investigating the case as a homicide.
As for the feds, it's not clear if they acted on Sandy's letter and looked into Stephen's death.
Buster has issued a statement denying any involvement in Stephen’s case -- saying, "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."