HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – The body of Stephen Smith, who was found dead along a rural Hampton County road in 2015, has been exhumed.
Attorneys for the family said Smith’s body was exhumed Friday and a second autopsy was completed this weekend. Eric Bland, who represents the family, said that Smith was returned to his resting place following the autopsy.
Smith’s death was originally ruled a hit-and-run, but the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) recently announced that the death is being investigated as a homicide.
According to Highway Patrol troopers who responded to the scene, Smith’s injuries were not consistent with a hit and run.
Smith’s mother, Sandy Smith, said that she never believed her son was killed in a hit-and-run.
She raised over $65,000 via GoFundMe to cover the cost of the exhumation and independent autopsy in hopes of getting answers regarding her son’s true cause of death.
In a series of tweets on Sunday night, Bland said in part “I now believe that Stephen can really rest at ease because SLED and our team are going to do everything possible to find out just how he died.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.