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A prosecutor from one of South Carolina’s most prominent legal dynasties was the one to find his wife and son shot dead near their home last week, officials have revealed — as the slaying still remains a mystery.
Alex Murdaugh — a prosecutor for the 14th Judicial Circuit — found wife Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and their 22-year-old son Paul just after 10 p.m. on Monday last week, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said.
He called 911 to report the pair had been “shot outside of the residence on the property” in Islandton, the agency said in a release.
His wife and son were declared dead at the scene having both been “shot multiple times,” the coroner has confirmed.
So far, officials have not commented on local media reports that two weapons were used — a shotgun to kill the son and an assault rifle to gun down his mother.
The pair are believed to have been killed sometime between 9 and 9:30 p.m., shortly before they were found.
After Colleton County sheriff’s deputies were first to arrive at the house shortly after, they had called in the state police to lead the high-profile double-homicide investigation.
“SLED agents have been working the case continuously since arriving on scene … and that work continues,” the force said.
So far, no suspects or official motives have been given for the slaying of the mother and son, the latter of whom was facing trial for the drunken boating death of a 19-year-old girl.
Authorities have not indicated whether the two incidents may be linked.
“We continue to pursue all leads and the investigation is certainly active and ongoing at this time,” SLED said, saying the agency “is committed to conducting a professional and thorough criminal investigation to bring justice in the deaths of Paul and Maggie.”
“SLED is further committed to transparency and will release any additional information, including additional information provided during the 911 call, at the appropriate time, the agency said.
“However, we cannot and will not do anything that could jeopardize the integrity of this investigation or that would violate the due process afforded to all in our constitutional system of justice.”
The Murdaughs are one of South Carolina’s most prominent legal families, with three generations having served consecutively as solicitor for the 14th Circuit.
One of them, the patriarch of the family, 81-year-old Randolph Murdaugh III, had been ill prior to the shooting deaths of his grandson and daughter-in-law and died days later.
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