COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has released heavily redacted reports from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office in connection to the fatal shooting of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.
This marks the first public release of reports surrounding the double homicide that occurred two weeks ago.
The reports detail the moment deputies arrived to find the Murdaughs “lying on the ground” and called for medics as others secured the initial crime scene.
A large area was taped off for investigation, a tent was used to preserve some of the evidence from weather and “only essential personnel were allowed access.” A second perimeter was secured as well.
According to the reports, other deputies were requested to search for any video surveillance available in the area, including at nearby residences.
A deputy also noted that “while assisting on scene, the Medical Examiner had contaminated his gloves and asked if [the deputy] would use his camera and take necessary photos he required and [the deputy] did so at his direction.”
Another new piece of information from the redacted documents is that at least one vehicle was towed from the property. A deputy noted escorting “the tow service (S&S Super lube) with the [redacted] back to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, where [the deputy] secured it in the impound lot.” It is unclear whether the vehicle belonged to the Murdaughs or why it was towed.
SLED says is processing a “significant number of FOIA requests” on the case as its investigation continues. Chief Mark Keel offered the following statement:
As Chief of SLED I urge the public to be patient and let the investigation take its course.
This case is complex, and we will not rush this or any investigation. Investigative decisions
we make throughout this case must 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.
SLED agents 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
Meanwhile, a spokesperson tells WSAV the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office plans to dismiss the charges against Paul Murdaugh in connection to the death of 19-year-old Mallory Beach. But the investigation into the boating crash that claimed her life remains open.
The office wouldn’t provide further details on the crash investigation.
The 14th Circuit Solicitor Duffie Stone also on Monday released a statement regarding SLED’s ongoing investigation. Paul Murdaugh’s grandfather, Randolph Murdaugh III, formerly served as the solicitor and died the same week his grandson and daughter-in-law were found shot.
Stone said to his knowledge, there is no clear suspect in the double homicide, and any speculation about his office’s involvement is “precisely that — speculation.”
“Suffice it to say, ethical conduct is paramount to me and to those who serve the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office,” his statement continues. “We will act promptly and ethically should conflicts arise in this case, as we always have.”
SLED recently set up a dedicated tip line for the Murdaugh investigation. The agency urges anyone with information to call 803-896-2605.
WCBD contributed to this report