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Crime Authorities Urge Public's 'Patience' in Murders of Prominent S.C. Mom and Son: 'Agents Are Working Tirelessly'

05:05  22 june  2021
05:05  22 june  2021 Source:   people.com

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In response to the enormous local and national interest in the brutal double murders of a mother and son from a prominent South Carolina family, the state's lead investigative agency has released 11 reports outlining law enforcement's initial response in the shocking case.

a man and woman posing for a photo: Facebook Maggie and Paul Murdaugh © Provided by People Facebook Maggie and Paul Murdaugh

On the night of June 7, Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh, 52, and her son, Paul Terry Murdaugh, 22, were shot and killed on the grounds of the family's hunting lodge in Islandton, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

Just after 10 p.m., Richard Alexander "Alex" Murdaugh, 53, called 911 after he found the bodies of his wife and youngest son lying outside on the 1,770-acre property, SLED announced last week.

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The Colleton County Coroner estimated their times of death to be between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., The Island Packet reports.

a piece of luggage sitting on the side of a house: Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP Murdaugh property © Provided by People Andrew J. Whitaker/The Post And Courier via AP Murdaugh property

One of the victims was killed with a shotgun and the other with an assault rifle, sources told The Island Packet.

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Maggie and Paul were members of the powerful Murdaugh family, who have been practicing law in South Carolina since 1910, according to the Murdaughs' law firm website. Three generations of the family have also served as solicitor of the 14th Judicial Circuit for more than 86 years.

a man and woman posing for a photo: Maggie and Paul Murdaugh © Facebook Maggie and Paul Murdaugh

The double murders took place while Paul was awaiting trial in connection to a 2019 boat crash that left a 19-year-old woman dead.

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On Thursday, members of the Murdaugh family appeared on Good Morning America, where they said Paul had received online threats from strangers before he died.

Since the shocking slayings, no arrests have been made.

Authorities have divulged little about the mysterious deaths of one of the Lowcountry's most influential families since June 7.

But on Monday afternoon, SLED Public Information Officer Tommy Crosby released an update in the ongoing double murder investigation, saying that authorities are "committed to a thorough, fair, and impartial investigation into the murders" of the mother and son.

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," said Crosby.

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Heavily Redacted Incident Reports

Since the brutal murders became public, media outlets have filed a "significant number" of requests for documents pertaining to the case under the Freedom of Information Act, Crosby said.

"In the interest of transparency, SLED is releasing redacted copies of the supplemental incident reports recently received from the Colleton County Sheriff's Office," Crosby said.

The 18 pages of heavily redacted supplemental incident reports that SLED released, (which can be found here) give minimal information about the night members of the Colleton County Sheriff's office responded to the incident.

a man and a woman posing for the camera: Maggie Murdaugh Facebook Maggie and Paul Murdaugh © Provided by People Maggie Murdaugh Facebook Maggie and Paul Murdaugh

The reports don't provide new information about the murders, the weapons used or any suspects or persons of interest.

But they are the first official reports that law enforcement has released since the slayings.

One supplemental report shows how a sergeant responded to 4147 Moselle Road in Colleton County in reference to two gunshot victims.

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When the sergeant arrived on scene, he "found two individuals, Paul Murdaugh and Margaret Murdaugh, lying on the ground with apparent gunshot wounds," he wrote in the report.

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As other units arrived on scene, "the crime scene was secured with crime scene tape and only essential personnel were allowed access."

Another report states how a particular deputy responded to Moselle Road and helped the sergeant who was already there "establish a crime scene" as well as locate and mark shell casings with crime scene tape.

Another sergeant "assisted with preserving the crime scene for the SLED Crime Scene Unit to process," he wrote.

He said he also escorted a tow service that appears to have brought a vehicle "back to the Colleton County Sheriff's Office where I secured it in the impound lot."

SLED did not state in the redacted report what kind of vehicle it was, who owned it or why it was impounded.

Another member of the Sheriff's Office brought a large tent to the property to cover some of the evidence exposed to the elements, one report says.

"While assisting on scene, the Medical Examiner had contaminated his gloves and asked if i (sic) would use his camera an(d) take the necessary photos he required and I did so at his direction. I remained on scene until Sled Crime Scene had completed their effort at the incident location."

Another investigator looked for homes or businesses with "exterior home security cameras facing the road" in case they captured footage of the killer or killers.

In Monday's release, SLED Chief Mark Keel said he wanted to "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."

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call SLED's 24-hour dedicated tip line at (803) 896-2605.

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