‘Troubled marriage’ focus of probe into mysterious Murdaugh family killings

The mother in a prominent South Carolina family who was fatally shot with her son last month may have been having marital troubles at the time of the double murder.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Maggie Murdaugh, 52, and her 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh were found shot to death on June 7 at the family’s hunting lodge in Colleton County.

Nearly a month later, police have not named any suspects in the double homicide as speculation swirls around the investigation. The powerful family with rumored political connections had been in the news before the murders: Paul Murdaugh was awaiting trial on charges connected to the fatal boating death of a 19-year-old woman in February 2019. Paul was driving the boat, and was allegedly heavily intoxicated.

As FITS News reports, the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division has released very few details about the deaths, but authorities have confirmed that multiple firearms were used: Paul was shot with a shotgun, and his mother with a semi-automatic rifle.

Maggie Murdaugh’s husband Alex Murdaugh, who is Paul’s father, reportedly first found his wife and son, and called 911 from the scene. Alex was named a person of interest but never a suspect, and is believed to have been visiting his ailing father in the hospital the night of the murders three days before his father died of natural causes.

Sources reportedly told FITS News that Maggie and Alex Murdaugh’s marriage was troubled. The report does not specify precisely what was at the source of the purported marital conflict, but FITS News confirmed that the couple’s relationship is one focus of the investigation.

“It is one of the areas that is being looked at,” a source close to the inquiry told me over the Fourth of July weekend. “It might not end up being the most promising lead, but it is being followed up on as part of the investigation.”

While the report notes that investigators obtained Maggie Murdaugh’s cell phone and have also combed through Alex Murdaugh’s digital communications, it is not yet known what authorities may have been looking for or what they have found.

For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode below.

[Feature image: Maggie Murdaugh and Paul Murdaugh/Facebook]