In 2016, Stephen Smith’s mother wrote the FBI a letter naming Buster Murdaugh as a possible suspect in her son’s suspicious death, as well as mentioning the duo’s alleged secret romantic relationship.
Sandy Smith accused local authorities of “covering up critical evidence” in order to protect Alex Murdaugh’s surviving son in a letter published Monday by Fit News.
Stephen, 19, was discovered dead on July 8, 2015, near the 1,700-acre Moselle estate, where Alex mur*dered Maggie and Paul Murdaugh six years later.
Police initially stated that his death “appeared to be a homicide,” but later determined that he was the victim of a hit-and-run.
The bereaved mother, who has long contested the death ruling, stated that the Murdaugh family became involved in Stephen’s death almost immediately.
“The first phone call my family received after the mu*rder was from authorities notifying us of Stephen’s death,” Sandy wrote.
“The second came the next morning from solicitor Randolph Murdaugh. In fact, while we were waiting in the police station for a positive identification, he called my ex-husband’s cell phone. He stated that he was aware of the case and was interested in serving as a liaison between the family and investigators on a pro bono basis.”
Despite their confusion about how Randolph learned of the death so quickly, the Smith family accepted the offer from the brother of double mur*derer Alex Murdaugh.
However, Randolph allegedly abandoned the family in the following weeks.
Multiple teenagers approached Stephen’s twin sister, Stephanie, within days of his death, claiming Buster and Paul were responsible for the mu*rder, according to the letter.
Another student told Stephen’s older brother, Christopher, that he witnessed the attack and saw Buster kill Stephen “with a baseball bat.”
“He claimed he did it because Stephen was gay,” Sandy wrote.
“According to the witness, they were out smashing mailboxes when they came across Stephen, and Buster took advantage of the situation.”
The mother believed Buster, now 26, was having an affair with her son, a rumor that was repeated by former classmates and explored in a Netflix documentary.
Stephen had hinted at dating “someone from a prominent family in the county who was hiding his sexuality,” but had never revealed their identity, according to his mother.
Buster, who “unequivocally” denied “vicious rumors” that he was involved in the mu*rder on Monday, allegedly dumped the car he was allegedly driving the night of the mu*rder, which police were unable to recover, according to the letter.
Sandy pointed out other flaws in the police investigation and accused officers of “deliberately” sabotaging the case.
“In September 2015, I was approached by a gentleman claiming to know about a criminal case decades ago that was swept under the rug to protect a different member of the Murdaugh family,” Sandy said, without elaborating.
“This did not surprise me. I see history repeating itself with my son; no one is attempting to solve our case.”
Officials said Tuesday that they are investigating Stephen’s death as a homicide and will look for the teen’s killer after exhuming the body for more clues.