A mother and son — members of one of South Carolina’s most prominent
families — were found shot dead on their property this week, police said.
The bodies of Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh —
who was facing trial in the boating death of a teenage coed — were found
Monday evening with several gunshot wounds near a dog kennel at their home
on Moselle Road in Islandton, a small town with only about 70 residents in
central South Carolina, police said.
Few details of the investigation have been made public, and as of Friday,
no arrests had been made.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that it is probing the
deaths as a double homicide and said it has turned the case over to the
state’s Law Enforcement Division.
There have been no arrests made in the slayings yet.
Paul Murdaugh was facing trial in the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach,
a University of South Carolina student who was killed in a boat crash in
the waters north of Hilton Head Island in 2019. Paul had been allegedly
operating the craft at the time.
His grandfather, Randolph Murdaugh III, as well as his great-grandfather
and great-great grandfather, were all elected and served as longtime 14th
Paul’s father, Alex, works for the prestigious law firm Peters, Murdaugh,
Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, which was founded by Randolph Murdaugh in
1910. On Thursday, the firm announced that Randolph Murdaugh III, 81, had
died, the day before services were held for Paul and Maggie. No cause of
death was given.
“We ask for your continued patience and prayers through this tragic time,”
reads a post the firm put on Facebook. “Please contact law enforcement
should you have any information that may be important.”
Beach’s family offered the Murdaughs their condolences in the wake of the
“Having suffered the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family
prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic
loss. They would like the family and the community to know that their
thoughts and continued prayers are with the Murdaughs,” the family said in
a statement to WTOC 11.
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