Subpoenas, warrants issued as part of investigation into Stephen Smith’s death

Posted at 1:08 PM, May 26, 2023 and last updated 1:08 PM, May 26, 2023


HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (Court TV) – Detectives have been making progress in their investigation into Stephen Smith‘s death, and have been serving warrants and subpoenas as part of it, Smith’s mother’s attorney told Court TV.

Stephen Smith selfie

This undated photo provided by Sandy Smith shows Stephen Smith, a South Carolina teen whose body was found on a road in 2015. (Sandy Smith)

Smith, 19, was found dead along Sandy Run Road in Hampton County, South Carolina, in the early hours of July 8, 2015. His body was found in the middle of the road but did not have injuries consistent with being the victim of an accident. In the investigative report obtained by Court TV, detectives noted that they initially believed that Smith had been shot.

RELATED: Hit-and-run to homicide: A timeline of the Stephen Smith investigation

In April, Smith’s body was exhumed for a second autopsy as The South Carolina Enforcement Division (SLED) said that it had reclassified Smith’s death – which was initially called a hit-and-run – as a homicide.

In an interview on Thursday night with Court TV’s Julie Grant, Smith’s mother’s attorney, Eric Bland, said that the investigation is moving forward. Bland said that police told him that investigators have met with the state’s Attorney General to give them the full briefing on the case. Bland said that warrants and subpoenas are being issued, but he did not specify any people who may be receiving them. Bland also said that he believes a grand jury has been impaneled in the case.

READ MORE: Stephen Smith’s body exhumed for second autopsy

“It would not surprise me that over the next couple months, we would near something regarding Stephen Smith and the decision South Carolina reached that he was killed by homicide,” Bland said.

Stephen Smith’s car, which was found along Sandy Run Road in Hampton County. (SLED)

A tipline has been established and a $35,000 reward is being offered in the case. Bland said that police have told him they have received and investigated approximately 40 tips to date.

SLED initially announced it had reopened its investigation into Smith’s death because of evidence uncovered during its investigation into the murders of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh, but has declined to say what the connection between the two cases is. Alex Murdaugh, a once-prominent attorney in South Carolina’s Lowcountry, was convicted for the murders of his wife and son and is serving a life sentence.

SLED has asked anyone with information about Stephen Smith’s death to come forward and contact their tip line at 1-800-CALL-SLED or contact Renée Wunderlich at