Paul and Maggie Murdaugh Funeral Services to Be Held Friday as Search for Their Killer Continues

Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mother, Maggie, 52, were both fatally shot Monday near their home in Colleton County.
S.C. Attorney General’s Office / Facebook

Paul Murdaugh, 22, and his mother Maggie Murdaugh, 52, were both found fatally shot outside of their South Carolina home Monday.

Funeral services will be held Friday at noon for Paul Murdaugh, a junior at the University of South Carolina, and his mother Maggie, who were both found fatally shot in a double homicide outside of their hunting lodge in Colleton County five days ago.

Residents of the Hampton neighborhood where the family lives year-round were tight-lipped and no vigil or memorials were held in the wake of the killing of the Murdaughs, who belong to a powerhouse family in South Carolina, the Island Packet reported.

Who Were Paul Murdaugh and Maggie Murdaugh?

"Paul grew up with a love for the outdoors and particularly enjoyed hunting at their lodge in Moselle with his father Alex, and brother, Buster," the 22-year-old's obituary, published by Peeples-Rhoden Funeral Home, said.

Maggie is remembered as a "gentle presence," her obituary said. 

"Maggie had a heart of pure generosity and loved welcoming friends and family into her home on any given occasion. She adored her family and cherished spending time on the boat with her two sons," according to her obituary.

It continued, "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."

Margaret "Maggie" Kennedy Bransetter Murdaugh was born Sept. 15, 1968, and lived her life in various towns including Columbia, Summerville, Edisto, Hampton and recently at the family's hunting lodge in Colleton.

Maggie graduated the University of South Carolina in 1991. There she met her husband, Alex, according to her obituary.

Both bodies were discovered Monday night by Alex Murdaugh, who is Paul's father and husband of Maggie Murdaugh, 52. Alex told police that he was not home at the time of the murders, which authorities say took place between 9 and 9:30 p.m. that evening.

Sources told the Island Packet that one of the victims was shot with what they believe was an assault rifle and the other with a shotgun.

Funeral services will be held at noon at Hampton Cemetery on Holly Street, according to both obituaries. 

Meanwhile, a police investigation is still underway and sources familiar with the case told FITSNews that a family member of the victims is a "person of interest" in ongoing inquiries, but they have not deemed any person a suspect in the murders at this time.

A call for prayer was prompted on the floor of the South Carolina Statehouse, according to the Island Packet.

Paul Murdaugh Faced Criminal Charges Related to 2019 Boat Crash

At the time of his death, Paul Murdaugh was facing three felony counts of boating under the influence.

The charges are related to the 2019 boating death of Mallory Beach, a 19-year-old woman who drowned after a boat Murdaugh was driving crashed into bridge pilings leading to Parris Island. The girl's body was found a week later.

A group of six friends, including Beach and Murdaugh, attended an oyster roast on Paukie Island in February 2019 where the group was drinking, WIS10 reported.

Adults at the party had reportedly asked that the teens not take the boat back due to foggy and misty weather. While they were offered to be driven home instead, the group decided to take the boat, according to testimony.

Witnesses said that Murdaugh was intoxicated at the party and had insisted to drive the group back, according to court depositions from his cousin and friend.

The group got into an "argument" while aboard Murdaugh's boat about wanting to get home while others wanted to keep drinking, according to a witness testimony, which alleges that Murdaugh had become aggressive and "slapped" his then-girlfriend. 

Murdaugh then allegedly went to the steering wheel and the boat accelerated "full throttle," according to testimony.

"We went from a two-mile-per-hour idle to the bow of the boat sticking up in the air," Murdaugh's cousin said in his testimony.

All six of the occupants were ejected from the boat. Five of them were able to make their way back to shore, but Mallory was nowhere to be found, according to testimony.

Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of boating under the influence causing death and bodily injury and was released on a $50,000 recognizance bond, The Augusta Chronicle reported. But last year Mallory's mother filed a civil lawsuit against the Murdaugh family and the convenience store chain that allegedly sold minors alcohol the evening of her daughter's death.

The Beach family released a statement Tuesday afternoon, a day after the murders, through their attorney which says, "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."

"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," the statement said.

An attorney general spokesperson said once there is a certifiable death certificate they will officially dismiss the criminal charges against Paul Murdaugh.

The Murdaughs Have Been Considered a Local Powerhouse for Generations

For 85 years, the Murdaugh family has served as a legal powerhouse in the state. Three generations of Murdaughs have served as the 14th Circuit Solicitor in the southern part of the state. A solicitor is otherwise referred to as a District Attorney in other jurisdictions throughout the country.

The 14th Circuit Solicitor covers five counties throughout South Carolina including Allendale, Beaufort, Colleton, Hampton, and Jasper, and prosecutes nearly 5,000 cases per year, according to the Island Packet.

Randolph "Buster" Murdaugh III, the former state solicitor and Paul's grandfather, died Thursday evening, just three days after his grandson and daughter-in-law were found shot, the Island Packet reported. The late Randolph served as the 14th Circuit Solicitor for nearly 48 years, according to reports. He was 81.

He was ill at the time of his death, sources close to the family told the outlet. He was the eldest member of the powerhouse Murdaugh family.

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