2 members of prominent SC family killed in double homicide

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 8:38 PM EDT
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ISLANDTON, S.C. (WIS/WCSC) - A mother and her son who were members of a well-known South Carolina family were found shot to death in Colleton County, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division confirmed.

Around 10 p.m. Monday, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call that stated two people were dead on a property in the 4100 block of Moselle Road in Islandton. Deputies quickly called in SLED to help investigate.

Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and her son, Paul Murdaugh, 22, were shot to death at one of the family’s homes, Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey said.

At this point, no arrests have been made.

The Law Firm of Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth & Detrick (PMPED), which was started about 100 years ago by a member of the Murdaugh family, released a statement saying:

“The Murdaugh family and PMPED wish to thank everyone for the many calls and condolences in the aftermath of the deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. We ask for your continued patience and prayers through this tragic time.

“Please contact law enforcement should you have any information that may be important.”

Deputies referred inquiries about the case to SLED agents Tuesday morning. Law enforcement says there is no threat to the public.

The Murdaugh family had a longtime connection to the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office, which serves Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper counties, according to the law firm’s website.

Three generations of Murdaugh men have served as the 14th Circuit Solicitor. Four generations of Murdaugh men are attorneys, several of whom work at the family’s law firm.

One of the homicide victims, 22-year-old Paul Murdaugh, faced charges in a deadly boat crash that killed a young woman in Beaufort County in 2019.

Police reports from the night of the incident stated there were six underage people on a boat who were all “grossly intoxicated that evening.”

Mallory Beach was reported missing after the crash. Her body was found a week later near the Broad River Landing in Beaufort.

In April, the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office announced three indictments against Paul Murdaugh: one for boating under the influence causing a death, and two counts of boating under the influence causing great bodily injury.

On Tuesday, the Attorney General’s Office announced that it won’t be proceeding with prosecution once the death certificate for Paul Murdaugh has been finalized.

The Beach family released a statement following the homicide of Paul Murdaugh saying:

“The Beach family extends its deepest and warmest sympathies to the Murdaugh family during this terrible time. Having suffered the devastating loss of our daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss. They would like the family and the community to know that their thoughts and continued prayers are with the Murdaughs. It is their most sincere hope that someone will come forward and cooperate with authorities so that the perpetrator of these senseless crimes can be brought to justice.”

Several members of the Murdaugh family were also named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Beach’s family. The lawsuit names a restaurant and several people the Beach family alleged played a role in providing alcohol to the minors on the boat. The lawsuit named members from three generations of Paul Murdaugh’s relatives.

Anyone with information on the murders of Paul Murdaugh and his mother is asked to call the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office at 843-549-2211 or Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372).

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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