Crime & Courts

FITSFiles ‘Death on the Tracks’: Journey to the Scene

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After last week’s episode of FITSFiles – our new true crime and corruption podcast – brought the first real answers related to the unsolved murder of Daniel Reed “DJ” Smith of Dorchester County, South Carolina, our team decided it was time to dive head first into the next round of unanswered questions.

Smith’s body was discovered on a remote stretch of railroad tracks near Ridgeville, S.C. on August 11, 2018.  Despite initial statements from the local coroner’s office indicating he was murdered and placed on the tracks, investigators never arrived at this conclusion – seeming intent instead on blaming the victim for the horrific end he met.

In the process, they appeared to overlook key evidence provided by the railroad – Norfolk Southern – that was both incomplete and misleading. 

Last week, we revealed the findings of an independent, expert analysis of DJ’s autopsy which confirmed the family’s suspicions that foul play was involved in his death. While this report provided answers to some questions, it left the investigative team exploring multiple crime scenes in the search for more information. To truly understand what may have happened after DJ Smith walked away from a party he attended on the night of his death, we decided it was time to take a journey to the exact spot on the train tracks where his body was found.

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As our news team visited this site last week, one thing became immediately and abundantly clear –  this was not some random location. Visiting the remote, rural section of the tracks where DJ’s body was found not only reinforced our suspicions about this case, it provided a perspective that could not have been achieved any other way. 

Whoever left DJ at this location planned to do so.

But why choose this place to leave his body? And how was his body moved from wherever he died to this remote section of the train tracks?

Our team was joined on the tracks by Columbia-based attorney Tucker Player – who has been retained by Smith’s family. His civil litigation experience – which includes many lawsuits involving railroads – provided invaluable insight into the scene and facts of the case. In coming weeks, we will provide more details on Player’s involvement in this story as he works with DJ’s family in the hopes of achieving justice for their son.

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As noted in our podcast, we want you to participate in this ongoing conversation – to be a part of the resolution.  Let us know what you think happened!  No one should ever be shy about sharing their perspectives, observations and conclusions as we continue to seek the truth on behalf of DJ and his family – and other victims of unsolved crimes.

Anyone with information about the circumstances surrounding the murder of DJ Smith is encouraged to make contact by emailing research@fitsnews.com.

FITSFiles is written, produced and hosted by our team of dedicated journalists including this reporter, research director Jenn Wood, special projects director Dylan Nolan and founding editor Will Folks. New episodes drop every Wednesday morning. Be sure to like and subscribe to FITSFiles on your podcast platform of choice (including AppleSpotifyGoogle and others) so you won’t miss a single episode.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Jenn Wood (Provided)

Jenn Wood is FITSNews’ incomparable research director. She’s also the producer of the FITSFiles and Cheer Incorporated podcasts and leading expert on all things Murdaugh/ South Carolina justice. A former private investigator with a criminal justice degree, evildoers beware, Jenn Wood is far from your average journalist! A deep dive researcher with a passion for truth and a heart for victims, this mom of two is pretty much a superhero in FITSNews country. Did we mention she’s married to a rocket scientist? (Lucky guy!) Got a story idea or a tip for Jenn? Email her at jenn@fitsnews.com.

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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.

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