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Alex Murdaugh had just arrived at his family's sprawling South Carolina hunting retreat when he found the dead bodies of his wife and son near the dog kennels.
“It’s bad,” a frantic Murdaugh told Colleton County dispatcher Angel Fraser in a recording of a 911 call released by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and obtained by Oxygen.com.
Murdaugh placed the six-minute call—where he can be heard sobbing and pleading for help—at 10:07 p.m. on June 7, 2021 from the family’s 1,700-acre hunting property after discovering his wife Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and his son Paul Murdaugh, 22, both dead.
“Are they breathing?” Fraser asked.
“No ma’am,” Alex replied, before confirming both his wife and son had been killed.
“Are they in a vehicle?” Fraser asked.
“No ma’am, they are out on the ground at my kennels,” Murdaugh replied.
Murdaugh can be heard crying as the dispatcher continues to ask him questions about the scene he stumbled upon last month.
“Do you see anyone in the area?” she asked.
“No ma’am,” he replied.
Fraser continued to get further details about his location before asking “Did you hear anything or did you come home and find them?”
“No ma’am, I’ve been gone. I just came back,” a visibly upset Murdaugh responded.
“Was anyone else supposed to be at your house?” she asked.
“No ma’am,” Murdaugh said, before asking her to “please hurry.”
As the call continued, Murdaugh confirmed that both his wife and son were not moving and said that he did not find anything out of place when he returned to the property that night.
The Colleton County Coroner later confirmed that Paul and Maggie both died from multiple gunshot wounds sometime between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., not long before Alex returned home and discovered the bodies, WJCL reports.
As the call concludes, Fraser asked him to turn on the flashers on his vehicle so that emergency responders could more easily find the location and urged him not to touch the bodies to try to preserve any possible evidence at the scene.
“I already touched them trying to get a—to see if they were breathing,” he said.
Murdaugh ended the call by telling her that he needed to place some other phone calls.
“I need to call some of my family,” he said, before assuring her that he would answer his phone if dispatchers needed to call back.
It’s been more than a month since Alex Murdaugh made the grisly discovery and investigators continue to search for answers about who shot the mother and son to death, despite a $100,000 reward being offered by the Murdaugh family for information in the case.
At the time of his death, Paul had been awaiting trial on a charge of boating under the influence in connection with a February 2019 crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach, The Associated Press reports.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has said they are also taking a new look at the 2015 death of 19-year-old Stephen Smith after information was uncovered during the Murdaugh case that suggested Smith’s death should be re-examined, WJCL reports. Smith’s body was found in the middle of the road in Hampton County in what was believed to be a hit-and-run.
It’s not clear what information was uncovered in the investigation that led to a new look into Smith’s death.
The Murdaugh family has a lengthy legal legacy in the South Carolina community. Alex’s father, grandfather and great grandfather all served as elected prosecutors in the area and Alex had served as a part-time prosecutor in the Solicitor’s Office before the deaths.
Anyone with information about the double homicide is urged to contact investigators.
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