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Independent Investigation For Stephen Smith

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The family of Stephen N. Smith is incredibly grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received from the community as a whole. You have been monumental in shining light on Stephen's story and the lack of justice.

Update: We have paused fundraising for the time being as we were successful in our mission to proceed with an independent autopsy. We will continue to post expenses to this page on a regular basis. As we have funds left over from this initial fundraising, we are excited to announce that a scholarship in Stephen's name will be created with leftover funds.

We are now proud to announce the Stephen Nicholas Smith Memorial Scholarship fund in partnership with the Community Foundation of The Lowcountry. Learn more here:

As you all know from coverage back in April, Sandy Smith led a fundraising effort to fund an independent exhumation and investigation into her son Stephen Smith's unsolved 2015 homicide. The overwhelming support from this initiative raised over $130,000 to pay for the immense expenses needed to properly examine and return Stephen plus fund a $30,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Stephen's killer(s).

Having successfully completed our initial mission and while eagerly awaiting word from SLED on developments in the case, we are proud to announce a scholarship in Stephen Nicholas Smith's name.

The Stephen Nicholas Smith Memorial Scholarship was established in partnership from the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry in loving memory of Stephen Nicholas Smith by his family and friends. The mission of the Stephen Nicholas Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund is to provide annual scholarship support for qualified students with financial need who are in pursuit of a post-secondary education, with a preference for the field of Nursing.

More details are available here:

At the time of this posting we felt it critical to seek a new goal - an independent exhumation, autopsy and investigation - and we launched #JusticeForStephenSmith with that immediate goal in mind. While the state can elect and fund an exhumation and new autopsy, it is our understanding that it would be carried out at MUSC, where his original autopsy was performed. We believe a private exhumation is necessary to avoid complications that arose from the first.

We needed a new, unbiased look at his body and an accurate determination of his cause of death based on facts. There was no debris in the road, and his injuries were not consistent with a hit-and-run.

We learned that an independent exhumation autopsy will be approximately $40,000. In addition, a private medical examiner must be present from the start of the exhumation through the examination period at a cost of approximately $750 per hour. Plus we expect expenses related to the independent investigation, reward, and other unknowns at this time.

With overwhelming financial support, we are now equipped to fund the exhumation, autopsy, and private investigation in cooperation with state law enforcement.

Please know that we expect other ordinary expenses as we pursue Justice for Stephen up to and including a reward, investigators, travel, family expenses related to the investigation etc... No funds from this GoFundMe will be used as fees for her AMAZING attorneys Eric Bland & Ronnie Richter who are donating their time to the exhumation effort.


This is a huge expense and undertaking, but we are hoping that with your support we can make this happen and finally get the answers we need. If you can give, we thank you for your generosity. If you cannot give, we would appreciate you sharing and praying for justice for Stephen. In either case, consider posting a green square to your social profiles to show support for our mission and remind the world that Stephen is not forgotten.

We believe 2023 is Stephen's year. Thank you all again for your love and support.

Key Expenses will be entered here with periodic updates:

3/29/2023 McAlister Funerals - Exhumation, Casket, Vault & Transport ($18,548.10)
4/5/2023 D'Michelle DuPre - Pathologist Expenses ($3,827.00)
4/11/2023 Final Diagnosis, Inc. - Autopsy ($7,400.00)
4/11/2023 McAlister Funerals - Reinternment & Balance ($4,701.00)


  • Anonymous
    • $5 
    • 1 yr
  • Sylvia L Maheux
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Marcie Cottrell
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Marcie Cottrell
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $11 
    • 1 yr

Organizer and beneficiary

Sandy Smith
Barnwell, SC
Sandy Smith

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