Buster Murdaugh Named by Stephen Smith's Mom as Suspected Murderer in an FBI Letter

Cha Miñoza
Stephen Smith photo beside his gravestone.
GoFundMe | Sandy Smith

In the latest update on the Stephen Smith case, it has been revealed that his mother, Sandy Smith, has previously identified Buster Murdaugh to be a suspect in her son's death. In a 2016 letter sent to the FBI, the mom stated that her son was murdered for "being gay" and continued to name Murdaugh as a possible suspect.

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Desperate Plea

Sandra Smith letter screenshot.

In the letter published by TMZ, Sandy begins by saying they are in desperate need of help, as they no longer trust anyone. The 4-page document details what happened after their family was informed by authorities of their son's death.

Many Inconsistencies

Police light turned on.
Unsplash | Scott Rodgerson

According to Sandy, the authorities initially said that Stephen was shot. Later, they changed the story and said it was a hit-and-run. Finally, investigators determined that he was beaten to death.

Buster Was Named

Sandy Smith letter to FBI screenshot.

The letter named Buster Murdaugh to be the perpetrator of the brutal crime. This information came to the family through a source who says he witnessed everything that happened firsthand.

Beaten With A Bat

Baseball bats leaning on a wall.
Unsplash | Winston Chen

The unidentified source said that they were out smashing mailboxes when they ran into Stephen. Allegedly, Buster (who went to the same school as Stephen) was the one who beat his son with a baseball bat.

Killed Because He Was Gay

Stephen Smith side profile.
Facebook | Sandy Smith

The source claimed that Buster killed Stephen because he was gay. This young man told all of this to Stephen's older brother, Chris. He also said that he was threatened by Murdaugh to keep his mouth shut.

Randolph Murdaugh Called Them

Girl holding a cellphone on her hand.
Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

Sandy also said in the letter that solicitor Randolph Murdaugh called almost immediately after their son's death. He was interested in working pro bono as a liaison for the family, which they found to be suspicious.

Stopped Returning Calls

A disconnected telephone.
Unsplash | Quino Al

They accepted Mr. Murdaugh's offer even if they were unsure of his intentions. But, after a while, the solicitor stopped returning their calls.

The Investigation Is Being Derailed

Sandy Smith letter screenshot.

The grieving mom ended the letter with a plea, explaining that she believes the investigation of the death of her son was being deliberately derailed because of the power and influence of the Murdaugh family.

Secret Relationship

Shadows of two guys holding hands.
Unsplash | Robert V. Ruggiero

Sandy also implied that Stephen and Buster had a secret romance. This was also discussed in the Netflix series Murdaugh Murders.

Not An Accident

A rural road with lots of trees.
Unsplash | Rusty Watson

The 19-year-old's death in 2015 was previously tagged as a highway fatality. His body was found along a rural road in South Carolina not far from the Murdaugh family estate.

The Smiths Don't Trust The Police

Police car on the road.
Unsplash | Matt Popovich

The Smith family has doubted the police force from the start and has done their best to uncover the truth behind their son's death.

No Skid Marks

Road with trees on the side.
Unsplash | mistermon

In the original notes of the incident report, there was “no vehicle debris, skid marks, or injuries consistent with someone being struck by a vehicle.” Additionally, Smith's loosely tied shoes were still on his feet, which would not have been the case if he was hit by a car.

Homicide Investigation

A man signing papers.
Unsplash | Scott Graham

Earlier this week, authorities gave an update on the case and said they will now be investigating the Stephen Smith case as a homicide.

Active Investigation

Two investigators writing on a white board.
Unsplash | Kaleidico

“SLED’s investigation into the death of Mr. Smith was never closed - it remains a homicide investigation,” the agency said in a statement. “Progress has been made, and SLED’s investigation is active and ongoing.”

The Body Will Be Exhumed

Black and white cemetery photo.
Unsplash | Vicki Schofield

Reports say the body will be exhumed so investigators can look for more clues that will lead them to the killer.

GoFundMe Page

GoFundMe page of Stephen Smith.
GoFundMe | GoFundMe

Last week, the Smith family created a GoFundMe page to help with the expense of the independent exhumation and autopsy.

"We need a new, unbiased look at his body and an accurate determination of his cause of death based on facts," the family stated on the page.

Buster Denies Involvement

Murdaugh family photo.
youtube | Netflix

Meanwhile, the Murdaugh family has adamantly denied any involvement in the death of Stephen Smith.

His Statement

Buster Murdaugh yearbook photo.
youtube | Netflix

In his statement, Buster says that these are only baseless rumors. "This has gone on far too long. 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."

"This Is What I've Been Waiting For"

Sandy Smith in an interview.
Fox8 | Fox8

In an interview with FOX, Sandy shared that she was shocked and elated at the recent homicide ruling. "This is what I've been waiting for," she said with a smile.