South Carolina double murder: Investigators release heavily redacted police reports


South Carolina law enforcement has released new documents in the ongoing investigation into the double murders involving the prominent Murdaugh family, providing only a glimpse into a case that has garnered national news headlines and gripped a small southern community. 

The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) on Monday made public 18 pages of heavily redacted supplemental police reports, preceded by a press release and statement from the agency’s chief, Mark Keel. Keel asked the public for patience and to allow the investigation to “takes its course.”

Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mother, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, were found dead near each other outside their Colleton County hunting lodge on June 7. Both had been shot multiple times.

SOUTH CAROLINA DOUBLE MURDER INVESTIGATION NEARS 2-WEEK MARK WITH NO ARRESTS OR SUSPECTS

“This case is complex, and we will not rush this or any investigation,” Keel said, noting that the decisions the department makes now will need to “withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process.”

“SLED agents continue to interview possible witnesses, collect and process potential evidence, and investigate every lead with the same diligence we devote to every case,” he continued. “[They] are working tirelessly with our partners to build a case against any person responsible for the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh to ensure that justice is served.”

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On the night of the double murders, Colleton County deputies quickly asked the State Law Enforcement Division to take over the investigation. But in the following two weeks, state police have said little about their progress. No arrests have been made. Agents have not said if they have any idea who might have killed the victims.

The parts of the supplemental police reports released Monday that weren’t blacked out include a deputy asked to get a tent to put over evidence while crime scene technicians worked; another deputy who outlined where he put crime scene tape and other officers asking nearby homes and businesses if they have surveillance cameras pointing toward the road.

The only report that did not have something blacked out was an officer who said he put up crime tape and started a log of everyone who went into the scene.

So far, police have said Alex Murdaugh found the bodies of his son and wife and called 911. 

A vehicle sits in the driveway of a home, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in rural Colleton County, near Islandton, S.C. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP)

A vehicle sits in the driveway of a home, Tuesday, June 8, 2021, in rural Colleton County, near Islandton, S.C. (Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP)
(Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP)

Sources are investigating whether Paul Murdaugh was the intended target of the June 7 shooting. He suffered wounds to his upper body and head from what appeared to have been a shotgun, while a rifle is believed to have been used to kill his mother, the Island Packet reported.

SOUTH CAROLINA INVESTIGATORS RELEASE TIMELINE OF DOUBLE MURDER OF MOTHER, SON

The Murdaughs are one of the state’s most prominent, well-connected legal families, with a history going back decades.

Randy Murdaugh and John Marvin Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh’s brothers, told “Good Morning America” on Thursday morning that Paul Murdaugh had been threatened by strangers in the past. 

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“I didn’t think it was a credible threat,” John Marvin Murdaugh said during the interview. “If it was, I would have tried to do something or notified someone, but I guess … maybe I made a mistake.” 

But Randy Murdaugh said he didn’t know of any “enemies” that the family, or Paul, had. 

“You hear all this talk on the social media with regard to Paul,” he said, “but I don’t know of anybody that would truly, that would truly be an enemy or truly want to harm them.”

Paul Murdaugh had previously been charged with boating under the influence in connection with a 2019 boat crash that killed a 19-year-old named Mallory Beach. Beach’s remains were not recovered until days later. 

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Beach’s relatives and four of the boat crash survivors have voluntarily provided authorities with their DNA to clear them of any potential suspicion connected with the murders, the Daily Mail reported. 

Last week, SLED announced the creation of a 24-hour tip line for anyone with information related to the case. 

Anyone with information is asked to call (803) 896-2605.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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