Crime Authorities Urge Public's 'Patience' in Murders of Prominent S.C. Mom and Son: 'Agents Are Working Tirelessly'
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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.
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.
Why Were a 'Loving' Mother and Son from a S.C. Family Dynasty Murdered on Their 1,770-Acre Property?
Mystery surrounds the shocking double homicide of Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and her son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, who were found shot and killed on the night of June 7As the wife of prominent South Carolina attorney Richard Alexander Murdaugh, known as Alex, whom she met at the University of South Carolina, Maggie, 52, enjoyed the prestige that came with being married to a scion of the Murdaugh family legal dynasty.
The Colleton County Coroner estimated their times of death to be between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.,reports.
One of the victims was killed with a shotgun and the other with an assault rifle, sources told The Island Packet.
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.
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.
Brothers of prominent South Carolina family speak out after 2 relatives found dead
John Marvin Murdaugh and Randolph "Randy" Murdaugh IV said they "knew something was wrong" when their other brother called them both late in the night on June 7. Your browser does not support this video "He said, 'Come as fast as you can. Paul and Maggie have been hurt,'" John told ABC News in an exclusive interview airing Thursday on "Good Morning America." "I missed some phone calls from him. I was outside with the dogs," Randy recalled. "When I came in, he was calling my wife's phone. And it was the worst phone call because of his voice, the fear. He was just distraught.
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) give minimal information about the night members of the Colleton County Sheriff's office responded to the incident.
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.
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.
China prepares for Communist Party centenary in secret .
BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have closed Beijing's central Tiananmen Square to the public, eight days ahead of a major celebration being planned to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Communist Party. The square, which normally attracts tourists from around the country, was barricaded Wednesday and will remain closed until July 2. Rows of yellow seats and heavy machinery could be seen on the open plaza that also houses the mausoleum of Mao Zedong, the founding leader of communist China. © Provided by Associated Press Visitors walk past a fenced-off construction area on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Tuesday, June 22, 2021.