A DM article from June 25, 2021
EXCLUSIVE: Cops investigating death of gay teen 'killed in hit-and-run' were convinced it was homicide and pursued tips questioning boy's 'relationship' with heir of powerful South Carolina family, whose mother and brother were shot dead
Now, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal that initial investigators found no evidence of any vehicle accident, were convinced that the victim had a gunshot wound above his right eye, and received tips questioning whether Smith had a relationship with Paul's older brother, Richard 'Buster' Murdaugh, 26.
The original incident report written by South Carolina Highway Patrol investigators on the scene and contained in the Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation (MAIT) case file obtained by DailyMail.com states: 'The victim was found in the middle of Sandy Run Road deceased from some sort of blunt force trauma to the head. Responded to the scene. I saw no vehicle debris, skid marks, or injuries consistent with someone being struck by a vehicle.' The report continues: 'The shoes were loosely tied, and both were still on. After consulting with MAIT we see no evidence to suggest the victim was struck by a vehicle.'
A second incident report signed by two deputies from Hampton County Sheriff's office who responded to the first reports of a body stated: 'I spotted a person laying in the middle of Sandy Run…The person was a white young male with a severe head wound.'
It continues: 'After inspecting the body, it appears the victim had been shot.'
A third narrative written by a MAIT officer who is not named and was called at 5:35am on the morning of July 8, 2015, states that after initially being advised of a 'possible Hit & Run fatality' he arrived on the scene to be told by Hampton County Coroner Ernie Washington that it was a homicide.
The report reads: 'He pointed out the wound to be a gunshot wound and showed me the entry point. Assistant Coroner Kelly Greene then began to show me photographs they took, again pointing to the entry point to the head and also a defensive wound to the hand.'
It states: 'I asked for clarity if they were sure, it was a homicide, and their response was yes.'
Cops investigating teen's death questioned his links to the Murdaughs