(NewsNation) — A new report has identified two persons of interest in the 2015 death of South Carolina teen Stephen Smith and a second autopsy has recovered evidence.
Fitsnews reports, Patrick Wilson and Shawn Connelly “were embroiled in various legal actions tied to the Murdaugh family in the months following Smith’s murder.”
Smith’s body was found on a road after it appears his car had run out of gas. Smith, a 19-year-old nursing student, was found three miles away from the car.
Wilson and Connelly were teenagers in 2015 and lived near where Smith’s body was found, according to the New York Post.
His death was officially ruled a hit-and-run, but renewed attention on the case during the trial of Alex Murdaugh led authorities to reexamine the evidence and they reversed the initial ruling, calling Smith’s death a homicide.
This comes as a second autopsy was completed this weekend on the exhumed body of the teenager found dead nearly eight years ago, according to the family’s lawyer
Dr. Michelle DuPre, the forensic pathologist who oversaw the second autopsy, says there’s evidence that was recovered.
“I can actually tell you that we were able to get all the information, really, that we need. We were able to do a complete and thorough second autopsy; everything that has been done, and everyone who has taken care of Stephen from day one till he was returned back to the grave, did a very professional job. And that made our job of a second autopsy a lot easier,” DuPre said.
Attorney Eric Bland, who is representing the family, said in a statement that this weekend was a “bittersweet” and “trying time.” With the second autopsy completed and the investigation unfolding, Bland said Stephen can “really rest at ease.”
DuPre said there was “certainly some evidence that we recovered,” but said she didn’t know that it was actually new evidence.
“I think that we got the information that we need to move the investigation forward,” she said. “And of course, now that is in the hands of law enforcement, and they’re doing an excellent job.”