Buster Murdaugh, the surviving son of Alex Murdaugh, has broken his silence to deny “vicious rumors” about his involvement in the death of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old whose body was found on a South Carolina highway in 2015.
Investigators reopened Smith’s case in 2021 following the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, for which Alex Murdaugh was convicted of murder this month.
“These unsubstantiated rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false,” Buster Murdaugh, 26, said Monday through his lawyer.
“I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family,” he said. “I request that the media immediately stop publishing these defamatory comments and rumors about me.”
Murdaugh did not address the reports that he and Smith were classmates.
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Alex Murdaugh, a former attorney, received two life sentences for his convictions in the deaths of his wife Maggie and their youngest son Paul, who were found dead near the family’s property in South Carolina on June 7, 2021. He has maintained his innocence.
Investigators originally considered Smith’s death a hit-and-run, which her mother has disputed.
“We need a fresh unbiased look at her body. and an accurate determination of his cause of death based on facts. There was no debris in the road and her injuries were not consistent with a hit and run,” her mother, Sandy Smith, wrote on a GoFundMe page to raise money for an independent exhumation and autopsy.
The online fundraiser has received over $65,000 in donations in less than two weeks.
In his Monday statement, Buster Murdaugh said he has been “attacked and harassed” by the media and others following the case.
“I have done my best to ignore the malicious rumors about my involvement in the tragic death of Stephen Smith that continue to run in the media as I mourn the brutal murders of my mother and brother. I love them dearly and miss them terribly,” Buster said in the statement from him.
“I haven’t spoken up until now because I want to live in private as I deal with their deaths and my father’s imprisonment.”