Mother, son from prominent SC legal family found shot dead

Authorities say a mother and son from a prominent South Carolina legal family have been shot and killed on their family’s land

ISLANDTON, S.C. -- A mother and son from a prominent South Carolina legal family were found shot and killed on their family's land, and authorities said they have made no arrests in the double homicide case.

Deputies in Colleton County found the two dead from gunshots on property near Islandton around 10 p.m. Monday, the sheriff's office said in a statement.

Maggie Murdaugh , 52, and her son Paul Murdaugh, 22, were shot several times and their bodies were found near a dog kennel, Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey said. How many times they were shot won't be known until autopsies are conducted later this week, Harvey said.

Paul Murdaugh was awaiting trial on a charge of boating under the influence causing death in a February 2019 crash that killed 19-year-old Mallory Beach. The woman's body was found seven days after the crash.

The wreck led to stories questioning whether his family’s ties to the legal system in the area affected the investigation

Colleton County deputies turned the investigation over to the State Law Enforcement Division, whose agents released no information beyond confirming they were looking into the deaths as a double homicide. They said no arrests had been made.

Property records show the Murdaugh family owns the land in a rural area along the Salkehatchie River. The home is about 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of Savannah, Georgia.

Paul Murdaugh's grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great grandfather were all longtime elected solicitors in the area, but all were out of office at the time of the boat crash.

Beach's family said they hope anyone with information will come forward so the killer can face justice.

“The Beach family extends its deepest and warmest sympathies to the Murdaugh family during this terrible time. Having suffered the devastating loss of their own daughter, the family prays that the Murdaughs can find some level of peace from this tragic loss," said the family's statement, issued through their lawyer, Mark Tinsley.