By HEATHER RUPPE
The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has released audio 911-tapes of the night that two members of a Lowcountry family were murdered on their rural Colleton County property.
Margaret “Maggie” Murdaugh, 52, and Paul Murdaugh, 22, were both shot to death at their Islandton residence on June 7th. Their bodies were found at about 10 p.m. by Alec Murdaugh, the father and husband to the two slain victims. These murders have gained international attention: the Murdaugh family is a legal legacy in Hampton County through their own law firm and they also have strong ties to the state’s solicitor’s office, with the Murdaugh family having served as longtime prosecutors.
In the audio tapes, released by SLED on July 22nd, Alec Murdaugh can be heard begging the 911-dispatcher to send help to his family.
“ … Please hurry,” Murdaugh tells the 911-dispatcher. Murdaugh also tells the dispatcher he arrived home and found his wife and son shot outside, near the dog kennels.
At one point during the call, the 911-dispatcher tells Murdaugh to turn his car flashers on, so that responding law enforcement officers can find him on the property.
“ … Please hurry,” he says again to the dispatcher, with his voice cracking and trembling.
SLED released the audio tapes and heavily redacted incident reports from the initial murder investigation after multiple international media outlets have filed Freedom of Information requests, asking for the information.
“We will continue to evaluate other materials in this case and will release additional information at the appropriate time,” said Tommy Crosby, SLED spokesman.
While SLED officials say that details in the case are limited due the ongoing investigation, it did comply with these FOIA requests and did release some of the revised tapes and paperwork.
From this released information, you can hear Alec Murdaugh calling 911, with the original call going to Hampton County’s 911-emergency dispatch center. A dispatcher then sends his emergency call to the Colleton County 911-dispatch center: the crime scene is located along Moselle Road, in Islandton.
In the 911-call, Alec can be heard sobbing, telling the dispatcher that he has come home and found his wife and son “laying face down” and “not breathing,” according to the audio tapes.
“ … It’s bad,” Murdaugh tells the 911-dispatcher.
911 Dispatcher: “Are they breathing?”
Murdaugh: “No m’am.”
911 Dispatcher: “… Did you see anyone? Is he breathing at all?”
Murdaugh: “No … nobody’s breathing.”
911 Dispatcher: “Did you see anyone in the area?”
Murdaugh: “No m’am.”
The dispatcher continues with questions. Minutes later, Murdaugh says again, “Please hurry.”
His voice continues to break as he speaks to the dispatcher and he continues to ask them to “hurry.”
Members of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office arrive. Local officers then call the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to the scene. Because of weather conditions that night, a medical helicopter is not available. Colleton paramedics and firefighters are also on scene.
The Colleton County Coroner’s Office is also called.
The printed version of the original 911-intake form and incident form that was also released by SLED on July 22nd is also redacted. In this edited version, the 911-dispatcher sends approximately 23 agents to the crime scene from the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, Colleton County Fire-Rescue and the Colleton County Coroner’s Office.
As of press deadline, there are no updates on any suspects in the ongoing murder case. SLED is the lead agency in this case, with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office assisting them.