New Redacted Report on Murdaugh Homicide Case Released
Newly released investigative reports on the Murdaugh double homicide investigation have been released, but many of the details have been redacted.
South Carolina officials released a redacted incident report relating to the Murdaugh double homicide case of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh after multiple public records requests have been made in the wake of the investigation.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said it is releasing the reports "in the interest of transparency" after a "significant number of FOIA requests" were received by the department.
Just days before the incident report was made public, The Post and Courier, a local newspaper, filed a lawsuit against the SLED and the Colleton County Sheriff's Office citing violation of freedom of information laws after several reporters at the paper were denied access to basic public records.
The lawsuit was filed on June 17 in the 14th Circuit Common Pleas Court.
Chief Mark Keel of the SLED wrote in the press release, “I urge the public to be patient and let the investigation take its course. This case is complex, and we will not rush this or any investigation. Investigative decisions we make throughout this case must withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process. SLED agents continue to interview possible witnesses, collect and process potential evidence, and investigate every lead with the same diligence we devote to every case.”
The statement concluded, "SLED agents are working tirelessly with our partners to build a case against any person responsible for the murders of Paul and Maggie Murdaugh to ensure justice is served."
Of the 18-page report, nearly eight pages are entirely redacted. Details regarding where the bodies were found and other details of the crime scene were redacted though an explanation as to why has not been made clear.
The names of the victims were identified in the second version of the incident report, naming both Paul and Maggie Murdaugh.
"A lawsuit shouldn't be required for members of the public to gain access to what is clearly public record," The Post and Courier executive editor, Mitch Pugh, said in a statement.
"But we are glad to see that SLED now recognizes its obligations under South Carolina FOIA law, and we look forward to the agency's continued commitment to transparency."
A lawyer representing the newspaper said that a hearing on the subject was requested to take place "as soon as possible," the outlet reported.
Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mother Maggie, 52, were found slain at their family's hunting lodge in Islandton on June 7 just after 10 p.m., according to reports. Alex Murdaugh, Paul's father and Maggie's husband, discovered the bodies after reportedly visiting his ill father in the hospital that day.
They were both shot multiple times with two different firearms, according to multiple reports. No suspects have been named at this time.
If you have any information related to this case, please call SLED’s 24-hour dedicated tip line at (803) 896-2605.
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