Cops papers in the recently resumed examination of a Hampton teen’s 2015 fatality reveal that detectives were at chances over exactly how the 19-year-old was in fact eliminated.
The unresolved situation of Stephen Smith, that was discovered dead in the center of a country roadway on July 8, 2015 near Hampton, has actually entered restored emphasis after the S.C. Police Department resumed the situation Tuesday.
SLED did so due to info collected throughout the examination right into the dual murder of Paul and also Maggie Murdaugh on June 7, a speaker validated.
Because the Murdaughs’ murders, conjecture has actually expanded concerning whether the household was associated with Smith’s fatality.
The very same reports have actually been around considering that 2015, yet detectives never ever formally connected family members to his fatality, though the Murdaugh name shows up 9 times in the S.C. Freeway Patrol situation notes.
The fatality was initially believed to be a hit-and-run. However the Freeway Patrol’s investigatory notes reveal authorities said with each other over whether Smith was the sufferer of murder.
Just How did Stephen Smith pass away?
In the morning hrs of July 8, 2015, a 911 customer claimed he was driving on Sandy Run Roadway on his method to function when he found a person hing on the roadway.
The individual was later on recognized as Hampton Region teen Stephen Smith.
To Hampton Region Constable’s Workplace replacements and also the area coroner, the reason of fatality was instantly evident: murder.
The teen had a head injury regular with being fired in the head, the coroner discussed, according to one record. He likewise had a “protective injury” on his hand.
The Freeway Patrol private investigator was gotten rid of from the scene, and also SLED can be found in to take control of.
What started as a relatively precise murder examination ended up being messed up after Smith’s postmortem examination.
2 weeks after Smith was discovered dead, SCHP private investigator Todd Proctor mosted likely to the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston to speak to a clinical supervisor concerning Smith.
The clinical supervisor, Dr. Erin Presnell, had actually created in a record that Smith’s reason of fatality was in fact being struck in the head by a cars and truck mirror.
He claimed he pertained to speak to Presnell to “obtain some information.”
Proctor created in a record that Presnell mentioned very first she was as well active to speak, then that he required the coroner’s approval to speak with her concerning the Smith situation.
Proctor informed her he currently had his approval and after that inquired about the modification in Smith’s reason of fatality.
” I asked her why she mentioned that in the record and also her response was ‘since he was discovered in the roadway,'” Proctor created. “She had no proof apart from that for the declaration being placed in the record.”
Proctor composes there was no proof of Smith being struck by a cars and truck.
” As I was leaving she mentioned that the record was initial,” according to Proctor. “And also it was my task to determine what it was [that] struck him, not hers.”
A couple of weeks later on, Proctor in-depth exactly how he talked to previous Hampton Region Coroner Ernie Washington. They both differed with the verdicts from Presnell’s record.
A various record states that Presnell claimed no proof of a bullet was discovered in an X-ray of the body.
However no glass or particles from a cars and truck was discovered, either– out the body or the location where Smith was discovered, the record states.
What’s following for Smith’s situation?
The situation went cool. Private investigators did not locate any type of suspects, according to the situation notes.
Paul Murdaugh’s bro, Buster, was discussed throughout the record, yet no link was ever before developed.
Various other names were discussed throughout, consisting of a guy that states he remained in a connection with Smith at the time of his fatality.
” There would certainly never ever be justice for Stephen in Hampton Region,” Sandy Smith, Stephen’s mom, informed The State Media Co. in 2019.
Numerous efforts to get to Sandy Smith have actually been not successful, yet she informed a Charleston-area TELEVISION terminal Tuesday:
” We have actually been waiting on this permanently. … Stephen’s constantly been placed on the backburner. … Stephen’s had no justice.”