Mon, Sep 13, 2021 6:43 PM
By JEFFREY COLLINS, AP
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State police have officially opened an investigation into missing money that a law firm said was taken by an attorney from a prominent South Carolina legal family whose wife and son were killed at their home three months ago.
Monday's announcement means that, along with the investigation into the deaths, the State Law Enforcement Division has four other ongoing investigations into Alex Murdaugh and his family.
"I continue to urge the public to be patient and let this investigation take its course. Investigative decisions we make throughout this case and any potentially related case must ultimately withstand the scrutiny of the criminal justice process,” Chief Mark Keel said in a two paragraph announcement from his agency.
Murdaugh's PMPED law firm announced earlier this month that Murdaugh had misappropriated money from the business and was no longer associated with the firm. Exactly how much money might be missing has not been made public.
The Sept. 6 announcement came two days after Murdaugh reported someone shot at him while he checked on a flat tire on his Mercedes SUV on a lonely road in Hampton County, grazing his head close enough that his lawyer said his skull was fractured.
State police are investigating that shooting.
The firm announced the missing money just hours after Murdaugh issued his own statement saying he was going into rehab for a opioid addiction.
“I have made a lot of decisions that I truly regret,” Murdaugh said without giving details.
The South Carolina Supreme Court suspended Murdaugh's law license during the investigation into the missing money.
Murdaugh found the bodies of his 52-year-old wife, Maggie, and 22-year-old son, Paul, shot multiple times at the family’s Colleton County home on June 7.
Along with the killings, the Sept. 4 shooting on the highway and potential financial misdeeds, state police also are investigating if anyone tried to obstruct an investigation into a 2019 boating accident that killed a 19-year-old woman. Paul Murdaugh was charged with boating under the influence causing death in that case.
State police also said the deaths of the Murdaughs led them to reopen the July 2015 death of a 19-year-old man that was called a hit-and-run. Investigators haven't said what led them to reopen that case, but the victim's mother has maintained for the six years since he was found dead on a two-lane road in Hampton County that she thought her son was beaten to death.
All five investigations remain open and no arrests have been made.
Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.