Smith family attorney Eric Bland thanked all involved on Twiter.
“My partner, Ronnie Richter, and I, as attorneys for Sandy Smith, and on behalf of Steven Smith, would like to thank everyone who contributed in the Exhumation, Transporting Stephen, protecting and guarding Stephen while he was being re-examined, and the second autopsy being done, transporting him back and then putting him back to his final resting place this past weekend,” he tweeted.
Smith’s body was found in 2015 on the 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. His death was officially ruled a hit-and-run, but his family has maintained it was murder.
Smith’s case resurfaced during the trial of Alex Murdaugh, whose son Buster went to school with Smith. There were rumors linking the two teens romantically and some suggested Buster and Paul Murdaugh were connected to Smith’s death.
Buster Murdaugh has denied any involvement with Smith.
The renewed attention on the case led authorities to reexamine evidence and they reversed the initial ruling, calling Smith’s death a homicide. That is in part due to information uncovered during the Murdaugh investigation, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. SLED has not specified what information it found pertaining to Smith’s case.
Former South Carolina Highway Patrol Supervisor Michael Duncan told NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield Smith’s wounds weren’t consistent with an accident and there were no skid marks on the road.
“I’ve never seen wounds like this that come from a car,” Duncan said. “In totality, it did not make sense why they were calling it a traffic accident.”
Duncan also revealed investigators had performed a rape kit on Smith, which isn’t typical for a hit-and-run. But the kit was never tested.