Buster Murdaugh, the surviving son of convicted murderer Alex Murdaugh, has denied involvement in the 2015 death of a high school classmate. 

Buster Murdaugh in a statement to NBC News denounced the “vicious rumors” alleging his involvement in the death of Stephen Smith, who was found dead on a road not far from the Murdaugh home. 

“I have tried my best to ignore the vicious rumors about my involvement in Stephen Smith’s tragic death that continue to be published in the media as I grieve over the brutal murders of my mother and brother,” he said. 

His father, the disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh, was sentenced to life in prison earlier this month for killing his wife Maggie Murdaugh and 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh on the family’s South Carolina property back in 2021. Alex Murdaugh’s defense team called Buster Murdaugh to testify during the trial.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division reopened the Smith murder case as it probed the Murdaugh killings, CNN reported. CBS News reports the body will be exhumed later this week. 

Neither Buster Murdaugh nor Alex Murdaugh has been named as a suspect in the Smith case, but the younger Murdaugh said he’s been surrounded by rumors. 

“This has gone on far too long. These baseless rumors of my involvement with Stephen and his death are false,” he said to NBC News. “I unequivocally deny any involvement in his death, and my heart goes out to the Smith family.”