A mother and son from one of South Carolina’s most prominent families were found shot to death on their family’s land this week, police reported.
According to a statement from the sheriff’s office, deputies in Colleton County discovered the two dead from gunshot wounds on property near Islandton around 10 p.m. Monday.
Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh—who was on trial for the boating murder of a teen coed—were found with multiple gunshot wounds near a dog kennel at their home on Moselle Road in Islandton, a small town in central South Carolina with only about 70 residents, police said.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office acknowledged that the killings are being investigated as a double homicide and that the case has been turned over to the state’s Law Enforcement Division.
Mallory Beach, a 19-year-old University of South Carolina student, was killed in a boat crash in the waters north of Hilton Head Island in 2019, and Paul Murdaugh went on trial for her death. He was reportedly in charge of the craft at the time.
The Murdaugh family owns land in a rural area along the Salkehatchie River, per property records. The house is about 60 miles north of Savannah, Georgia (95 kilometers).
Paul Murdaugh’s grandpa, great-grandpa, and great-great-grandpa had all served as elected solicitors in the region, though they were all out of office at the time of the boat crash.
Alex, Paul’s father, works at Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, and Detrick, a famous law company founded by Randolph Murdaugh in 1910. The firm announced the death of Randolph Murdaugh III, 81, on Thursday, the day before Paul and Maggie’s funeral. There was no mention of a cause of death.
Beach’s family expressed their hope that anyone with information will come forward so that the murder will be brought to justice.
“The Beach family extends its deepest and warmest sympathies to the Murdaugh family during this terrible time. Having suffered the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss,” Mark Tinsley, the family’s lawyer, stated on their behalf.