Stephen Smith’s mother wrote the FBI a letter in 2016 mentioning Buster Murdaugh as a possible suspect in her son’s suspicious death — and she also noted the duo’s alleged secret romantic relationship.
In the letter published Monday by Fit News, Sandy Smith accused local authorities of “covering up critical evidence” in order to protect Alex Murdaugh’s surviving son.
Stephen, 19, was found dead on July 8, 2015 close to the 1,700-acre Moselle estate, where Maggie and Paul Murdaugh would be murdered by Alex six years later.
Police initially said the death “appeared to be a homicide,” but ultimately ruled he was a victim of a hit-and-run.
The grieving mother — who has long disputed the death ruling — said the Murdaugh family involved themselves in Stephen’s death nearly immediately.
“The first call my family received after the murder was from authorities notifying us of Stephen’s death,” Sandy wrote.
“The second came very quickly the same morning from solicitor Randolph Murdaugh. In fact, he called my ex-husband’s cell phone as we waited in the police station for a positive identification. He said he heard of the case and was interested in working pro bono as a liaison between the family and investigators.”
Though confused about how Randolph found out about the death so quickly, the Smith family accepted the offer from the brother of double killer Alex Murdaugh. But Randolph allegedly ditched the family in the following weeks, however.
Within days of Stephen’s death, multiple teenagers approached his twin sister, Stephanie, to claim Buster and Paul were responsible for the murder, the letter says.
Another classmate told Stephen’s older brother, Christopher, that he was present for the attack and watched Buster kill Stephen “with a baseball bat.”
“He claimed it was because Stephen was gay,” Sandy wrote.
“The witness said they were out smashing mailboxes when they came upon Stephen and Buster seized the opportunity.”
The mother believed Buster, now 26, was carrying on a secret romantic relationship with her son — a rumor repeated by former classmates and explored on a Netflix documentary.
Stephen had alluded to dating “someone from a prominent family in the county who was hiding his sexuality,” but never revealed their name, his mom said.
Buster –who on Monday “unequivocally” denied “vicious rumors” that he was involved in the murder — dumped the car he was allegedly driving the night of the murder, which police failed to recover, the letter says.
Sandy pointed out other inconsistencies in the police investigation and accused officers of “deliberately” derailing the case.
“I was approached in September 2015 by a gentleman claiming to know about a criminal case decades ago that was swept under the rug to protect a different member of the Murdaugh family,” Sandy said, without further specification.
“This came as no surprise to me. I see history repeating itself with my son — no one here is trying to solve our case.”
Officials announced Tuesday they are investigating Stephen’s death as a homicide and plan to look for the teen’s killer after exhuming the body for more clues.