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Victims in Colleton County double shooting being laid to rest Friday

Published: Jun. 11, 2021 at 4:49 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 12:41 PM EDT
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HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Family and friends will gather Friday lay to rest a mother and son who were shot to death as investigators work to find their killer.

Maggie Murdaugh, 52 and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were found shot to death Monday night at the family’s Islandton property in rural Colleton County, investigators with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division confirmed.

Graveside services for the two are being held at noon Friday in the Hampton Cemetery, according to their obituary.

Maggie Murdaugh graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1991 where she met her husband, Richard Alexander Murdaugh, according to her obituary. She and Alex raised their two sons, Paul and Richard Alexander Jr., in Hampton County.

Her obituary describes her as having a heart of “pure generosity” and states she loved welcoming friends and family into their home on any given occasion.

“She adored her family and cherished spending time on the boat with her two sons,” the obituary states. “She will be remembered as a ‘second mom’ to her sons’ many friends. She made the most out of every situation and lived each and every day to the fullest.”

Paul Murdaugh grew up with a love for the outdoors and particularly enjoyed hunting at their lodge in Moselle with his father and brother, his obituary states.

He was a UofSC junior and “was often found cheering on the Gamecocks with his friends and family.”

“Paul never met a stranger, and had an abundance of friends. He was always eager to lend a helping hand to anyone in need,” his obituary states. “No one was more loving and genuine than Paul, and because of this, his personality was one-of-a-kind.”

Peeples-Rhoden Funeral Home of Hampton is assisting the family with arrangements.

The investigation into the double homicide is ongoing. SLED agents released no new details in the investigation into their deaths for days.

But they released the following statement Friday:

SLED understands the media’s interest and the public’s desire for answers to what has happened in their community. We know that everyone has questions and rumors are abundant, speculating what happened in the shooting deaths of Maggie and Paul Murdaugh. It is important for the community to know that SLED is committed to conducting a complete, thorough, and independent investigation to ensure justice is served. As we do in every investigation, our agents will pursue every lead and utilize all available resources in investigating this case. We cannot and will not do anything that could jeopardize the integrity of this investigation and thus feel it is inappropriate to comment on specifics while this investigation is ongoing. If you or someone you know has information regarding this incident, please call the Colleton Sheriff’s Office at 843-549-2211 or Crime Stoppers at 888-CRIMESC.

Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey ordered forensic autopsies for the two victims and those autopsies were scheduled for Thursday, but investigators have released no details on findings.

Patriarch of Murdaugh family dies at 81

The family suffered another loss on Thursday, according to the family’s law firm.

Family patriarch Randolph Murdaugh III died, according to a social media post from Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth and Detrick.

Hampton County Deputy Coroner Preston Altman said he died peacefully at his home surrounded by family at the age of 81. No specific cause of death was released.

The elder Murdaugh was the third consecutive generation to serve as 14th Circuit Solicitor before he left that post in 2005 to focus on his private law practice.

His grandfather, Randolph Murdaugh Sr., founded the law practice in 1910 and became the first person to be elected to the role of 14th Circuit Solicitor when the job became an elected position in 1920. His son, Randolph Murdaugh Jr., succeeded him in 1940 and served until his retirement in 1986. Randolph Murdaugh III succeeded him as solicitor from 1986 until 2005.

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