Stephen Smith’s cellphone unlocked 8 years after he was found dead near Murdaugh house

The phone and tablet of a South Carolina teenager found dead near the Murdaugh family home have finally been unlocked by investigators eight years after he was killed.

Stephen Smith, 19, was killed in 2015 with his death originally being ruled a hit-and-run accident by authorities.

But the nursing student’s family have always maintained that he was murdered and the probe into his death was reopened in 2021 and ruled a homicide in March.

The case was reopened after disgraced lawyer Alex Murdaugh was found guilty of the murder of his wife, Maggie, and younger son, Paul, at their 1,772-acre hunting lodge and given life behind bars.

“I think between the phone and the tablet, it will yield some information that, close in proximity to when Stephen was killed, should explain: Was he (Stephen) going away with a prominent person, as he told his mother? But more importantly, SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) will be able to talk to the investigating officers and confirm whether Alex Murdaugh was at the accident scene,” family attorney Eric Bland told Chris Cuomo on NewsNation.

Stephen Smith was found dead in a road back in 2015 (Sandy Smith/GoFundMe)
Stephen Smith was found dead in a road back in 2015 (Sandy Smith/GoFundMe)

Smith’s mother, Sandy, says that she saw Murdaugh at the scene of her son’s death.

Mr Bland said: “It’s very simple. Somebody’s going to have seen him there. I believe my client. I don’t think she’s told one single untruth in this whole process, and she doesn’t have an axe to grind with anybody.”

Buster Murdaugh, the son of Alex Murdaugh, released a statement in March condemning “baseless rumors” linking him to Smith’s death.

“This has gone on far too long. These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false,” Buster Murdaugh said. “I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family.”

No member of the Murdaugh family has ever been arrested or charged in the case of Stephen Smith.