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Death of Murdaugh family housekeeper in 2018 under investigation

A criminal investigation has been opened into the 2018 death of a housekeeper who worked for a prominent South Carolina family that has since become the focus of several investigations, CBS affiliate WSPA-TV reported. Hampton County Coroner Angela Topper requested the investigation into Gloria Satterfield's death, which the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agreed to on Wednesday.

Satterfield died on February 26, 2018, as a "result of injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident, in Hampton County," according to a wrongful death settlement filed after her death, with Richard A. Murdaugh listed as the defendant.

But Satterfield's death was not reported to the coroner, and an autopsy was never performed, the coroner said. 

"On the death certificate the manner of death was ruled 'Natural,' which is inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident," Topper wrote. 

"In light of the inconsistencies noted above, I feel that it is prudent to pursue an investigation into Gloria Satterfield's death."

Alex Murdaugh is seen in a police booking photo after surrendering to authorities September 16, 2021, to face insurance fraud and other charges.
Police booking photo of Alex Murdaugh Hampton County Detention Center

On Tuesday, Murdaugh, a prominent lawyer in South Carolina, was accused of attempting to arrange his own death so that his only surviving son might get a $10 million life insurance payment. Murdaugh was shot earlier this month, but the bullet only grazed his head, state police said. Murdaugh turned himself in to authorities Thursday.

The incident came nearly three months after his wife, 52-year-old Maggie Murdaugh, and their 22-year-old son Paul Murdaugh were killed. Richard Murdaugh, who goes by Alex, discovered their bodies at their Colleton County home. 

When Paul Murdaugh was killed, he was awaiting trial for boating under the influence causing death in a February 2019 crash that killed a 19-year-old woman. State police have since started looking into the investigation into that crash to see if anyone tried to keep police from charging Paul Murdaugh.

Murdaugh family funeral
Buster Murdaugh, center, receives a hug in the rain during the funeral service for his brother, Paul, and mother, Maggie, on Friday, June 11, 2021 in Hampton, South Carolina. Kacen Bayless/The Island Packet via AP

After the Murdaughs' deaths, state police also reopened an investigation into a 2015 hit-and-run death of a 19-year-old man in Hampton County. The victim's mother said she thought Paul Murdaugh could have been involved.

Authorities haven't released any information about why those cases we reopened.

Two days after his wife and son were killed, Alex Murdaugh announced he was going into rehab for an opioid addiction. He apologized to his family and said he was leaving his law firm.

Later that day, Murdaugh's law firm, Peters Murdaugh Parker Eltzroth Detrick, alleged he had been taking money from the business and said it was hiring an accounting firm to fully review its books. It didn't say how much money might be missing, but said Murdaugh was no longer associated with the firm.

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