Cold case reopened in wake of Murdaugh saga | USA TODAY

A cold case involving Stephen Smith, who was found dead in South Carolina, may be linked to the Murdaugh family.

RELATED: Alex Murdaugh trial: Recap of mysterious murder investigation

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating the death of a 19-year-old nursing student as a homicide after reopening the case amid its investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, family lawyers said Tuesday.

Stephen Smith was found dead on a rural road in Hampton County on July 8, 2015. His death was ruled a hit-and-run after an initial investigation, which his family has criticized.

The case went cold until a fatal boat crash involving former attorney Richard "Alex" Murdaugh's son Paul in 2019 again brought it into the public spotlight.

The law enforcement division reopened Smith’s case in June 2021 "based upon information gathered during the course of the double murder investigation of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh," a spokesperson said at the time. Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison for the murders of his wife and son earlier this month.

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