Two weeks after Maggie and Paul Murdaugh were found murdered at their hunting lodge in Colleton County, South Carolina, the lead investigative agency released some initial incident reports in the high-profile investigation.
On June 7, 2021, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, both of Hampton, S.C., were both found murdered at the family’s 1,700-acre hunting property on 4147 Moselle Road near Islandton, S.C.
Fourteen days after the murders, officials from S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED) released documents “for the sake of transparency” revealing some information in the double homicide investigation.
The documents are heavily redacted copies of the supplemental incident reports from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office — the agency that originally responded to Alex Murdaugh‘s 911 call around 10:07 p.m. June 7.
The sheriff’s office asked SLED to take over the case due to the complexity of the investigation and the agency’s multiple ties to the powerful Murdaugh family. SLED was contacted 21 minutes after Alex Murdaugh called 911.
The heavily redacted police reports don’t offer any new information about the weapons used in the murders or possible suspects in the case.
According to police reports, deputies arrived on scene at 10:25 p.m. and immediately started investigating the case as a double murder.
The incident reports appear to show that the integrity of the crime scene was maintained until SLED agents arrived on scene at 11:47 p.m.
According to the reports, it appears that Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies located at least two vehicles at the crime scene and impounded at least one vehicle from the scene.
Click below to read the full report…
Deputies found shell casings at the scene, according to the report.
According to the reports, SLED agents requested that Colleton Country Sheriff’s deputies search the area near the crime scene for video surveillance systems on the morning after the murders. Another deputy was asked to get a large tent to cover evidence at the crime scene.
Only one piece of evidence was listed in the initial crime scene long — which was heavily redacted.
In the news release, SLED chief Mark Keel asked for the public’s patience and said to “let the investigation take its course.” SLED officials said they understand the case has drawn a lot of attention, but they are asking for the public to “withhold judgment” until the investigation is complete.
“This case is complex, and we will not rush this or any investigation,” Keel said. “Investigative decisions we make throughout this case must withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process.”
In the release, Keel said that SLED agents are working to “interview possible witnesses, collect and process potential evidence, and investigate every lead with the same diligence we devote to ever case.
“SLED agents are working tirelessly with our partners to build a case against any person responsible for the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh,” Keel said.
Sources have told FITSNews that Paul Murdaugh was killed by two shotgun blasts – one to the chest and another through the arm and head. Maggie Murdaugh died of multiple gun shot wounds by a semi-automatic rifle, according to our sources.
The bodies were reportedly found near the dog kennels on the property, although FITSNews sources have since confirmed that the family’s dogs were not killed during the incident (one of the many rumors swirling around this story).
SLED has not officially said which weapons were used in the crime, nor have they said where exactly the bodies were found on the property.
“The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is committed to a thorough, fair, and impartial investigation into the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh,” the release said. “We understand the interest in this case has drawn and urge the public to withhold judgement until our investigation is complete.”
SLED officials said they will continue to look at the documents in the case and release more information when possible.
According to SLED, the investigation into these murders began at 10:07 p.m. June 7 when R. Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh – a prominent local attorney – placed a 9-1-1 call which was routed to the Colleton county dispatch center.
“During that call, Murdaugh indicated to the Colleton county dispatch center that he had returned to family property located at 4147 Moselle Road in Islandton, South Carolina to find the bodies of his wife Margaret ‘Maggie’ Murdaugh and his son Paul Murdaugh shot outside of the residence on the property,” the statement noted.
At 10:28 p.m. EDT – just over 20 minutes after the 9-1-1 call from Murdaugh was received – SLED was contacted by the Colleton sheriff’s office.
At that time, SLED’s “assistance in conducting this double murder investigation” was requested. At 11:47 p.m. EDT, agents from SLED’s various Lowcountry regional offices started to arrive on scene.
At the time of his death, Paul Murdaugh stood accused of three felony BUIs in the fatal boat crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach.
Law enforcement and prosecutorial sources told FITSNews investigators are actively probing obstruction of justice allegations in the aftermath of the crash — including allegations that could involve Alex Murdaugh and possibly other members of his powerful family.
Two attorneys representing boat crash victims confirmed the obstruction of justice investigation. One of those attorneys said there is missing evidence in the boat crash investigation.
According to our sources, all of the boat crash survivors — and Beach’s family members — voluntarily submitted to questioning and volunteered to provide their DNA as a part of the double homicide investigation. A source close to the family also told FITSNews that the Beaches have not been questioned again since providing their statements and DNA.
On Thursday, SLED agents were reportedly collecting evidence in the Salkehatchie River about two miles south of Moselle. SLED officials have not confirmed what this search was about and if it was related to the double-homicide investigation.
While no suspects have been named in the case, Alex Murdaugh — Paul’s father and Maggie’s husband — was named as a “person of interest” in connection with the Moselle shootings, according to FITSNews sources.
Good Morning America reported that Alex was taking his father Randolph Murdaugh III — who died of cancer days after the murders— to the hospital on the day of the killings. After that, he reportedly checked in on his mother before returning to the hunting property, known locally as Moselle. This could be the “ironclad” alibi Alex Murdaugh is said to have provided police.
Attorneys close to the powerful Murdaugh family have told FITSNews that Alex is not a suspect in the case and is “cooperating fully” with SLED. These sources further claim that Murdaugh’s interview with SLED investigators last week was all about “closing the book on him as any sort of suspect” in the case. However, FITSNews’ sources have challenged those assumptions.
Those wishing to give law enforcement information on the case should contact (803) 896- 2605.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to [email protected].
WANNA SOUND OFF?
Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our articles? Or an issue you’d like to proactively address? We have an open microphone policy here at FITSNews! Submit your letter to the editor (or guest column) via email HERE. Got a tip for a story? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question or a glitch to report? CLICK HERE.