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Four weeks after Murdaugh killings, community waits for answers

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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ISLANDTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Investigators have released few specifics in the ongoing investigation into two deaths of a prominent Lowcountry family.

Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her son, Paul, 22, were found gunned down at their hunting property in the rural Colleton County community of Islandton on June 7.

The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene that night after Alex Murdaugh, Maggie’s husband and Paul’s father, discovered them. The State Law Enforcement Division was called in and took over the investigation.

The Murdaughs were both shot multiple times, investigators confirmed.

Lowcountry criminal defense attorney Susan Williams says in her 17 years of practicing law, she has not seen a case that has garnered as much attention across the country as this one.

“Someone from law enforcement said the public should not be in fear. And no one has been arrested to date, and so it doesn’t make sense to me,” Williams said. “I’m sure there is an explanation for that that’s plausible, but just as a member of the general public, I don’t understand it. We’ve got two murders in Colleton County and we’ve got no arrests.”

The family has strong connections to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which serves Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties.

Members of the Murdaugh family ran the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office for about 87 years, believed to be the longest consecutive run in American history.

When that position became an elected position in 1920, Randolph Murdaugh Sr., Paul Murdaugh’s great great grandfather, became the first man elected to the role. He served until he died in a train accident in 1940. His son, Randolph Murdaugh Jr., took over the position after his father’s death and served until his retirement in 1987.

His son, Randolph Murdaugh III, the grandfather of Paul Murdaugh, became solicitor and served until 2006 when he left to focus on his private law practice.

The Murdaugh family announced last month a $100,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the killer or killers.

To be eligible for the reward, which the release states will be administered through the law firm of Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth and Detrick, the tip must be called in to SLED’s tip line at 803-896-2605 and must be received by Sept. 30.

SLED has agreed to release to the law firm the identity of anyone who calls in that information if they wish to claim the reward.

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