Investigators Will Exhume Body of Murdaugh Family Housekeeper Who Died Under Mysterious Circumstances

Gloria Satterfield's 2018 death at the Murdaugh home was categorized as a slip and fall, but now authorities have reopened the investigation

Gloria Satterfield
Gloria Satterfield. Photo: Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Home

Investigators will exhume the body of Gloria Satterfield, the family housekeeper of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh.

Satterfield, who worked for the Murdaugh family for more than 20 years, died at the Murdaugh home in February 2018. At the time, her death was classified as an accidental slip and fall, but authorities have reopened the investigation.

In an announcement on Friday, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) spokesperson Renee Wunderlich said that Satterfield's family agreed to the exhumation, WLTX-TV reports. "This is a complex process that will take weeks, not days," Wunderlich said.

Since October, Murdaugh has been held behind bars in connection with the alleged misappropriation of nearly $4.3 million in settlement funds that were supposed to go to Satterfield's sons.

Murdaugh, 54, made national news in June 2021, when he came home and found his wife, Maggie, 52, and their son, Paul, 22, gunned down on their 1,770-acre estate in the small town of Islandton, S.C. The mother and son had been shot with two different guns and were found outside the home, near the dog kennels.

Murdaugh is a person of interest in the murders, according to his attorneys. He has not yet been charged in connection with their deaths. Authorities haven't named any additional suspects or made any other arrests.

Murdaugh Family
From left, Buster Murdaugh, Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh, Paul Murdaugh, Alex Murdaugh. Maggie Murdaugh/Facebook

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After the murders, Murdaugh made news again when he allegedly tried to stage his own death so that his other son, Buster Murdaugh, 26, could benefit from a $10 million life insurance settlement. He was criminally charged in connection with the botched suicide-for-hire plot and is awaiting trial in that case.

Suspended from practicing law, Murdaugh now faces a total of 74 criminal charges. Of those charges, 71 are financial crimes from the grand jury indictments, and three are additional Colleton County charges stemming from the murder-for-hire suicide attempt.

He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial. He is being held on $7 million bond.

Mysterious Deaths

Satterfield is one of a number of mysterious or accidental deaths swirling around the Murdaugh family.

In 2019, a boat operated by Paul Murdaugh crashed against a bridge pylon, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach and seriously injuring two other passengers. At the time of his death, Paul was awaiting trial after being charged with several felonies in connection to the deadly crash, including boating under the influence.

After Paul and Maggie's murders, SLED announced that their investigation had led them to reopen their investigation into the 2015 death of Stephen Smith, who was found dead in the middle of a rural road in Hampton County. Investigators initially said they believed he was struck by an unidentified vehicle but authorities later disagreed about how exactly he died.

The link between the Murdaugh family and Stephen Smith has not been publicly disclosed.

It's unclear if more charges will stem from Satterfield's death, and SLED has not released details of what they are looking for. An attorney for Murdaugh did not immediately return PEOPLE's request for comment.

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